According to James Pearce in the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool Football Club have ramped up their bid to sign Greek International defender, Kyriakos Papadopoulos from Schalke.
Papadopoulos, currently of Schalke, was the youngest ever player to make his debut in the Greek league at just fifteen years of age. Since signing for Schalke for a fee of £2m, the young centre-back’s reputation has continued to grow and he’s regarded by many as one of the brightest central-defensive prospects in Europe.
Still only 21, the relative youngster has plenty of European and international experience, having played an important role in Schalke’s progression to the Europa League quarter finals in 2011/12, their Champions’ League campaign last season, and having been handed sixteen international caps already.
Liverpool are known to be in the market for central defenders this summer, given Jamie Carragher’s retirement from football and the likelihood that Martin Skrtel & Sebastian Coates could be moved on, and the Echo reports that Papadopoulos heads the list of potential replacements.
Brendan Rodgers was thought to be keen on a move for Swansea captain Ashley Williams, however the Swans’ price-tag – thought to be in the region of £12m – has seen the Liverpool boss look past his former captain, in search of better value, younger alternatives. A deal for Papadopoulos would likely cost between £12m and £15m and would represent a shrewd investment in one of the most promising young centre-backs on the continent.
With the Anfield club in need of more than one new central defender, the Echo goes on to say that the Reds are also keen to bring ex-Arsenal player Kolo Toure to Anfield. The 32 year old is available from Manchester City on a free, and would provide experienced cover to compliment Rodgers’s other options.
Meanwhile, the Reds remain interested in snapping up Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon. The 20 year old defender is lightening quick and, after breaking into Sporting’s first team this season, should be available for around £3m.