Liverpool considering shock move to sign Arsenal flop Shkodran Mustafi to solve centre-back crisis

Liverpool considering shock move to sign Arsenal flop Shkodran Mustafi to solve centre-back crisis
The Reds have been without their first-choice defenders for much of the season (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool are considering a shock move to sign Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi as Jurgen Klopp looks to try and solve his defensive crisis before the January window closes.

The Reds have been without usual first-choice centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for much of the season, with both having sustained serious knee ligament injuries.

Their absence has been felt even harder due to Joel Matip’s sketchy injury record, with the Cameroonian again picking up a knock against Spurs, while stand-in defender Fabinho also has a niggle.

Shkodran Mustafi Arsenal v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
Mustafi could come in as short-term cover to ease Liverpool’s centre-back crisis (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool have been linked with a host of potential targets to come in and ease their issues at the back, such as Lille’s Sven Botman and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano – though neither club are likely to sell during January, particularly so late in the window.

But, after Klopp admitted that Liverpool would continue to explore options, a new and rather surprising target has emerged: Mustafi.

The 28-year-old has not started a single Premier League match for Arsenal this season and only has six months left to run on his contract, having been frozen out by Mikel Arteta.

According to The Telegraph, Liverpool are monitoring his contract situation amid suggestions the World Cup winner could terminate his contract early this month and leave on a free transfer.

Arsenal are believed to be open to the idea as it would shift Mustafi’s large salary off the books, even if only for six months, and Liverpool are poised to swoop in.

The former Valencia and Everton centre-back, who is well known to countryman Klopp, would be considered a short-term fix. Ideally the manager’s preference would be to sign someone to be part of the squad long-term, but that may not be possible.

Speaking about his hunt for a new centre-back, Klopp said: ‘We see the situation. We lost probably two of the best centre-halves in the whole market in a period of six or seven weeks. For the whole season. That’s massive.

Shkodran Mustafi Arsenal Training Session
Mustafi has only made a handful of appearances for Arsenal this season, mainly in the Cups (Getty)

‘And then the winter transfer market opens and everyone says, “Now you can do something”. We try. We see the situation. We don’t close our eyes.’

On whether cost of the deal or quality of the player would be Liverpool’s priority, Klopp continued: ‘Can you separate these two things? I am not sure there is an £80million centre-back available at the moment and a club thinks, “We can get £80m for him so we will sell him”.

‘I don’t think that’s the case. Actually, pretty much I know. This calibre of player the teams would not sell them now. It is both. We need to find the right player and one which suits our financial situation, that’s clear as well.’

MORE : Jurgen Klopp sends transfer message to Liverpool chiefs after Spurs win

MORE : Jurgen Klopp provides Joel Matip injury update after Liverpool’s win over Tottenham

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