Liverpool interested in €20m-rated Yukinari Sugawara


Liverpool are interested in right back Yukinari Sugawara, Anfield Watch understands.

The 23-year-old is a six-cap Japan international, currently playing for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

Suguwara, a versatile operator who has also featured at right wing and even at centre back, is viewed by Liverpool as a player who could potentially shadow Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The former Nagoya Grampus star, who moved to Europe back in 2019, has less than two years remaining on his current contract at AZ and could be available for as little as €20m (£17m).

Focussing instead on their much-discussed midfield rebuild, Liverpool did not sign any defensive cover for the first-team squad during the summer transfer window. However, it has been widely reported that the area remains a priority to strengthen in upcoming windows.

With Calvin Ramsay heading out on loan to Preston North End for the 2023/24 season, 20-year-old Conor Bradley had been expected to step in as Alexander-Arnold's right back understudy, but a reported stress fracture to his back means he is unlikely to be available until at least November.

Meanwhile, Virgil van Dijk's two-match suspension and Ibrahima Konate's latest injury have brought concerns to the fore about the Reds' lack of depth across the backline.

Suguwara made 47 appearances in all competitions for AZ in 2022/23 and was a regular as his side made it to the Europa Conference League semi finals before being eliminated by West Ham.

He scored three times and registered eight assists in last season's Eredivisie, while he has one assist to his name so far in 2023/24.

The 23-year-old also started Japan's 4-1 victory over Germany during the September internationals, alongside new Liverpool signing Wataru Endo.

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