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Target list Liverpool weighing up stop-gap defensive option as they look to make late transfer move

Liverpool pushing to make a signing in the final hours of the January transfer window

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Reuters

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Reuters

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Reuters

Liverpool are desperately scrambling to find a solution to their defensive crisis ahead of Monday's transfer deadline, with the club considering a short-term deal until the end of this season.

While Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has stated he would like to find a long-term solution to his side's ongoing defensive woes, he has accepted that may not be possible ahead of the 11pm deadline on February 1st.

The last gasp nature of Liverpool's search for a defensive signing will inevitably limit their options, with club sources suggesting many of the potential target they would consider signing will not be available this month.

One name that has not been dismissed by Liverpool insiders is Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, who could be available on a free transfer if the Gunners agree to cancel the contract of the German World Cup winner.

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On Sunday Liverpool look set to start their 12th different centre-back pairing in the Premier League this season (PA Graphics)

On Sunday Liverpool look set to start their 12th different centre-back pairing in the Premier League this season (PA Graphics)

On Sunday Liverpool look set to start their 12th different centre-back pairing in the Premier League this season (PA Graphics)

Mustafi, who is also the subject of interest from Italian side Lazio, will be out of contract this summer and looks set to leave on a free transfer, so he would expect a bumper signing on fee and would be in a strong position to negotiate a big pay deal with his next employer.

The RB Leipzig duo of Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate have been linked with a move to Liverpool, yet they will not be permitted to move until next summer.

Meanwhile, Lille defender Sven Botman is a player Liverpool have an interest in, but the finances involved in sealing that deal may be out of the club's budget this month unless Lille consider a cut-price deal due to their own financial problems.

Klopp has made it clear that he wants to sign a defender who can be part of his team for years to come, but he accepts that ambition may not be feasible before Monday.

"It is true - that is how it is," said the Reds boss. "The solution, how we do it is, we find solutions for now in this way, so it is now a solution (needed) for Sunday for the West Ham game, that is how we see it.

"But in an ideal world, it would be that the short-term solution is the long-term solution as well - that would be great! I don’t know if we can do that, but we will see.

"So sort the problem we have now, that is how we do it usually. And then we will see how it will show up in the future.

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An ankle ligament injury to Joel Matip means Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no fit senior centre-backs (Peter Powell/PA)

An ankle ligament injury to Joel Matip means Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no fit senior centre-backs (Peter Powell/PA)

An ankle ligament injury to Joel Matip means Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no fit senior centre-backs (Peter Powell/PA)

"You know the situation with centre-halves out there. You know the clubs where the centre-halves are playing. You know the clubs where they are obviously interesting because everyone is talking about them.

"Tell me if one of these clubs needs the money and needs to sell a player? And if they need money then they want crazy money.

"As a football fan you can sit at home and think 'They have to do something'. But that's not how it works."

Read John Aldridge's verdict on Liverpool's defensive meltdown in this weekend's Sunday World.

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