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Liverpool transfer news: Premier League star as Joel Matip replacement

James Shearman
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool
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Liverpool have identified Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi as a potential replacement for Joel Matip, according to the Daily Mirror.

Not only is Matip out of action with a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury, but he is also out of contract in the summer.

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Even though Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah have both stepped up for The Reds in his absence, they are not seen as mainstays in the team.

Meanwhile, captain Virgil van Dijk turns 33 in July, and although he is still performing at an elite level, Klopp’s side would certainly benefit from having another quality option.

Liverpool wanted to sign a centre-back last summer, but their main focus was on completely overhauling the midfield.

Now, despite boasting the best defence in the Premier League, they are ready to make a defensive acquisition.

23-year-old Guehi has been a key figure at Selhurst Park since leaving Chelsea, and has even earned international call-ups under Gareth Southgate.

He would be an excellent addition to Liverpool’s team, and one that seems attainable, though it would have to be at the end of the season.

Palace are not willing to sell any of their top assets in the midst of a relegation battle.

Liverpool’s Guehi alternative

Liverpool have also added Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapie to their shortlist ahead of the summer.

The 22-year-old Ecuadorian is currently managed by former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso at Bundesliga-topping Leverkusen, where he has made 19 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

Anfield Watch reported on the Reds’ links to Hincapie last summer, though nothing came of the interest back then, with Leverkusen prepared to wait until 2024 before sanctioning a sale.

Now, Anfield Watch understands that Hincapie has again been earmarked as a top candidate for the centre-back position – a priority for the Liverpool recruitment team.

Such is the Reds’ interest in the 30-cap Ecuador international that the club even made enquiries about making a deal this month, but those advances were rejected by Leverkusen, who won’t entertain a sale amid their ongoing title challenge.

Sporting CP’s Goncalo Inacio is another left-sided defender who has frequently been linked.

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