Romano says Liverpool are watching one of the best passing centre-backs in Europe

Journalist Fabrizio Romano says Liverpool are interested in signing a player who is "characterised by his calm" and excels in passing out from defence.

Liverpool's title hopes surge
The Reds produced a scintillating performance to beat Newcastle United 4-2 in the Premier League on New Year's Day, pulling three points clear at the top of the table in the process. It was arguably one of Liverpool's most convincing performances in a number of weeks, and while some of the finishing was disappointing, it was a night that suggested that they are very much Manchester City's biggest rivals in the title race.

Some fans feel that new signings in the January transfer window would give Jurgen Klopp's side an even better chance of going all the way, with certain areas of the pitch looking light. Centre-back is a position that could do with reinforcements after Joel Matip was ruled out for the season, and the Reds have been linked with a move for Bayer Leverkusen ace Piero Hincapie.

The midfield was revamped last summer, following major issues with Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and others, but Fulham's Joao Palhinha is seen as a reported target for Liverpool, too, should Klopp feel the need to bring in a more out-and-out defensive midfielder than Alexis Mac Allister.

It looks as though the Merseysiders could be eyeing a player who is capable of shining in both of the aforementioned positions, according to a new transfer claim.

Liverpool eyeing Ko Itakura
Taking to X, Romano revealed that Liverpool are one of the clubs showing an interest in Ko Itakura, with the Borussia Monchengladbach centre-back scouted by the Reds a number of times.

"Ko Itakura, one to watch in 2024 as top clubs are monitoring Japanese CB. Understand Liverpool have sent their scouts multiple times to follow Itakura’s performances. Tottenham also monitored him as Ange Postecoglou wanted Ko at Celtic. Release clause NOT valid in January."

Ikatura could be a really good signing by Liverpool, with the 26-year-old someone who could add much-needed depth at the heart of the defence, following the ACL injury suffered by Matip. The Japan international was once described as a player who is "characterised by his calm" by former Schalke coach Dimitrios Grammozis, and he represented his country three times at the 2022 World Cup, while his composure is really shown in his passing ability.

Ikatura would clearly have to accept that he was coming in as a squad player, with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate Liverpool's undisputed first-choice centre-back pairing, but he has been phenomenal this term, actually ranking as one of the best passers out of all European centre-backs.


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