Liverpool are weighing up a bid for Charlton teenager Joe Gomez as a replacement for the soon-to-be-offloaded Sebastian Coates.
With Sunderland seemingly set to pay £4m to make Coates’ loan last season into a permanent deal, the Reds are on the lookout for cover at centre-back.
Gomez, aged 18, is of interest and while no formal offer has yet been made, Liverpool are thought to believe there is a possibility of signing the England Under-19s defender for about £3.5m.
Boss Brendan Rodgers currently have four senior central defenders in Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, last summer’s £20m arrival Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure.
Skrtel, who is out of contract in a year’s time, is stalling over the terms of a new deal offered towards the end of last season while the 34-year-old Toure, whose new 12-month extension takes him to next summer, is not a long-term option.
Liverpool also have Tiago Ilori, a 22-year-old signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2013 but who has yet to make a first-team appearance and has spent loan spells at Granada and Bordeaux.
Gomez, whose breakthrough season in the Championship last term saw him make 24 appearances, is viewed as a long-term prospect and, like Ilori, would more than likely be loaned out for more experience.