Liverpool dealt transfer blow as AC Milan ‘make contact’ with defensive target Ozan Kabak ahead of January swoop

LIVERPOOL have been dealt a major blow after it was claimed AC Milan have made contact with transfer target Ozan Kabak.

The Reds have seen their defensive ranks decimated after a spate of horror injuries this season.

Star centre-back Virgil van Dijk suffered a horror ACL rupture after Jordan Pickford's wild challenge in the Merseyside derby.

Joe Gomez then suffered a nasty knee injury of his own on England duty, ruling him out for a huge chunk of the current campaign.

With Joel Matip struggling with injuries in the past few seasons and Dejan Lovren sold in the summer, Jurgen Klopp is desperately short of options in the heart of his defence.

Youngster Rhys Williams has played in four Champions League games, while Nathaniel Phillips has featured in the Premier League.

Midfield star Fabinho – who injured his hamstring this season – has often been deployed in the middle of a back-four too.

But if Liverpool are to retain their league title following a 30-year drought, Klopp knows he will need a big-name defensive signing this winter.

The Reds boss is expected to dive into the transfer market in January for reinforcements.

Sought-after Dayot Upamecano and Kalidou Koulibaly have both been linked.

But one of Klopp's top targets – Schalke star Kabak – could now be on his way to Italy, according to Italian outlet Tuttosport.

Schalke rated their seven-cap Turkey star, 20, at £40million earlier this year.

But due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports claim the Bundesliga giants would be willing to sell for anywhere between £20m and £30m.

Last month it was claimed Liverpool had opened talks with Schalke over a move for Kabak.

But now AC Milan appeared to have overtaken the Premier League champions in the race for his signature.

Tuttosport claim Milan chiefs have made contact with Kabak's agent ahead of a January swoop.

Kabak came through the youth ranks at Galatasaray before moving to Stuttgart and then on to Schalke just over a year ago in a £13.6m deal.

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