Liverpool have reportedly whittled down their list of defenders who could replace Dejan Lovren in the summer transfer window to three players.
According to AS, the Reds have identified Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez, RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano and Inter Milan prospect Alessandro Bastoni as potential candidates who could take over Lovren’s place in the Liverpool squad, should the Croatian international depart Merseyside.
The 30-year-old centre-back has been highly linked with a move away from Anfield after six years with the Premier League giants, with La Lazio Siamo Noi reporting that the likes of Lazio, AC Milan and Arsenal are all interested in signing Lovren this summer, with the former Southampton man falling behind the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order.
Yet Liverpool’s candidates to replace Lovren, on the surface, appear to be a mixed bag, with each defender on the list varying differently from style of play to physicality, as well as to what their current situation at their current club is.
Upamecano has been heavily linked with a huge money move to Arsenal, as reported by Bild via The Daily Mail, whilst Gimenez is no longer viewed as Diego Simeone’s first-choice defender at Atleti, as per the AS report.
Which is why 20-year-old Bastoni, who has broken into the Inter first-team this season, could be the best candidate to replace Lovren if the Croatian does make his expected move away from Anfield at the end of the season.
Bastoni has impressed greatly under former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte this season, with the defender playing well over 1,000 Serie A minutes and keeping more experienced names at the club out of the first-team picture. As a potential back up in the Liverpool squad, the Italian youth international could be an ideal signing for Klopp compared to Gimenez and Upamecano, who will likely demand a higher transfer fee as well as regular playing time.