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Bayer Leverkusen ‘respond to Liverpool approach’ as Jurgen Klopp eyes parting gift | Football | Sport

Bayer Leverkusen have rejected an approach from Liverpool to land defender Piero Hincapie ahead of next week’s transfer deadline, according to reports. The Reds have not made any January signings as of yet, only welcoming back a handful of fringe players from loan spells elsewhere.

Liverpool’s defensive injuries have sparked calls for Jurgen Klopp to sign a new centre-back in his final transfer window before leaving the club at the end of the season. Hincapie has been identified as a top target by the Merseyside giants, but it seems as though a move will need to wait until the summer.

The Ecuador international was targeted earlier this month by Liverpool but the Reds saw their approach rebuffed, according to Anfield Watch. It is said that Leverkusen were quick to reject their advances but the move could be revisited in the summer, when the German outfit will have more time to sign an adequate replacement.

The report adds that Liverpool have earmarked Hincapie as the ideal candidate to fill their left-sided central defensive position from next season onwards. The 22-year-old has not always been a first-choice option for Leverkusen this season but is regarded as one of the Bundesliga’s brightest young talents and is capable of playing at both centre-back and left-back.

Liverpool are said to have plenty of other irons in the fire, with Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio having also been linked with a potential move to Anfield. Meanwhile, it is claimed that the Reds have an interest in signing Chelsea ace Levi Colwill but a deal remains highly unlikely due to the Blues’ reluctance to sell him.

Klopp recently played down the idea of chasing any big-money deals this month in spite of Liverpool’s defensive injury woes, saying: “Just bringing in a player, finding the money for it, as if we have endless money, we always talk about it. I really don’t understand it.

“Everybody, you, the fans, everybody talks about it, ‘we need another player’. They all cost money. It must be the right player. Tell me a club which wants to sell a top, top, top centre-half. If you would tell me one, not a centre-half, a top centre-half, because he will have to play for Liverpool.

“We’ve known that Joel [Matip] will be out for a long, long time, which is really bad for us, but we still have four centre-halves, which is absolutely alright. If we would have had a fifth centre-half in already beforehand, it’s a completely different team dynamic. One is not involved, we don’t see steps with him or with [another] and stuff like this. So like it was, it was perfect.”

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