Liverpool backed to make January bid for star Klopp knows well and could sign for free

Liverpool have been backed to make an approach for David Alaba in the January transfer window. The versatile Bayern Munich ace has once again rejected a contract extension and can leave on a free in the summer of 2021.

The Reds have fitness problems at the back with Virgil van Dijk set to miss the rest of the campaign after undergoing knee ligament surgery, while Joel Matip and stand-in Fabinho are also currently out injured.

Rhys Williams, who has just four Liverpool appearances to his name, had to play 60 minutes of the 2-0 Champions League win over Midtjylland last Tuesday.

While Nat Phillips made his Premier League debut for the English champions in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat of West Ham at Anfield.

Yet with Joe Gomez as the only fit senior centre-half available to Klopp and Matip having been dogged by injuries during his four-year stint on Merseyside, Liverpool have been tipped to utilise the January window to strengthen their options at the back.

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And former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips believe Alaba is an option who Liverpool will be considering.

Liverpool could even seek a pre-contract agreement which would allow the Austrian to join for free next summer.

Alaba has spent over a decade at Bayern and has racked up nearly 400 first-team appearances, which have seen him play in multiple roles including left-back, centre-back and central midfield.

The 28-year-old has played exclusively in central defence under Hansi Flick so far this season, however, and would be a top-class addition to the Liverpool squad.

“Alaba is definitely an option,” Phillips told Football Insider. “It is certainly an area that Liverpool will look at. He has a lot of quality and can play in a number of positions.

“He will definitely be a player that Klopp will look at and Klopp will know him well. He will be in contact with people that know him very well.

“They will have targets already, I am pretty sure of that. Their recruitment and scouting has been amazing since Klopp has been there.

“It would not surprise me if a player of that calibre came through the door.”

Football Insider add that Alaba is being considered by Liverpool as they weigh up whether or not to sign a new central defender in the January window.

The Reds added Thiago Alcantara to their squad from Bayern in the summer, paying around £25million to sign the Spain international, who had entered the last 12 months of his contract with the Bundesliga champions.

But Bayern remain reluctant to lose Alaba and manager Flick said: “Against [Arminia] Bielefeld, Atletico [Madrid] and Eintracht [Frankfurt], Alaba is doing a good job.

“I feel he’s the same as last season, very focused, loud on the pitch. He’s one of the players who leads our defence. For me, there’s no difference between now and last season.

“I’m not concerning myself with [worries about a January transfer] at all right now.

“I still hope he’ll sign with Bayern because I think he knows what the situation is like here in Munich. It’s a lot of fun to train with a team with a good atmosphere here. We play successful football and this club is one of the best in the world.

“The conditions are top for every player right now and I think he’ll think twice about changing that.

“It’s his decision – and we have to respect that, obviously – but I hope he will stay. He has to decide, my feeling is irrelevant.”

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