Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to pursue a deal for Barcelona defender Jules Kounde as he looks to reinforce his defence, according to reports.
The Reds are looking to address a number of positions this season as they hope to improve their squad in the summer transfer window.
Midfield is expected to be the main priority with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner leaving Anfield at the end of the season.
However, centre-back is one area Liverpool are also keen to look to improve on and Barcelona centre-back Kounde is now reportedly on their radar.
Spanish publication Nacional claims that Kounde has ‘formally requested his request to change scenery’ at Barcelona after only a year at the Camp Nou.
Numerous Premier League clubs were chasing the France international before he made the switch from Sevilla to fellow La Liga outfit Barca last summer.
And there have been other reports that Man Utd and Liverpool are now back in for Kounde with Nacional insisting he is ‘not motivated by the project’ and ‘feels cheated’ after being promised that he would play as a centre-back.
Instead, Kounde has been used predominantly as a right-back in Xavi’s side and the Frenchman has now ‘he has chosen to pack his bags’ and move to another club.
Kounde has ‘received an offer’ from Liverpool with Klopp promising to play him in his preferred position and make him a ‘star’ at Anfield.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta will ‘only negotiate proposals that exceed’ €60m (£52m) as he looks to recoup the full fee the Catalan giants paid Sevilla for Kounde 12 months ago.
Whether he stays or goes is far from straightforward though, with the Barcelona centre-back dismissing reports that he wants out of the club.
Kounde said on Twitter this week: “To make it clear, at no time did I ask to leave, and I’m not going anywhere.”
Recruitment at Liverpool should become clearer in the next few weeks with Jorg Schmadtke’s arrival at Anfield as sporting director now ‘imminent’, according to Sky Sports Germany.
Liverpool hope to have the German in place next week with the report insisting that ‘nothing can go wrong’ ahead of confirmation of his arrival on Merseyside.
Schmadtke ‘will be in charge of close consultation’ with Liverpool boss Klopp with the Premier League club ‘facing an extensive squad change’.