Liverpool transfer target Malick Thiaw responds to speculation he could be new centre-back

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Liverpool are facing a crisis at centre-back with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez battling to play again this season.

With Joel Matip left as their only senior fit centre-back, who himself has suffered injury struggles, all eyes are on whether the Reds will dip into the transfer market in January.

Having already considered bringing in a centre-back in January, the Mirror understands Klopp will reassess his options after recent injury problems.

One of the names linked with the Reds is Schalke defender Malick Thiaw, who has been linked with an Anfield switch over the last 12 months.

The talented 19-year-old signed a new deal with Schalke in the summer which seemed to end speculation regarding his future.`

Schalke youngster Malick Thiaw has been linked with a Liverpool transfer
(Image: GETTY)

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But Sport Bild have claimed that Liverpool have maintained ‘regular contact’ regarding Thiaw via their scouts.

And Thiaw has now responded to speculation he could arrive as a January reinforcement – admitting he is flattered by links.

“Of course you’re happy when big clubs are after you, but it was actually clear to me that I would stay at Schalke,” he told Schalke TV (via ).

Deciding where his future lies is not the only big decision the youngster faces.

He is eligible to play for Germany, Senegal and Finland and yet to decide where his international future lies.

Thiaw admitted being flattered by Liverpool interest
(Image: SchalkeTV)

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“I'm currently in consultations with my family,” he said regarding that decision.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has warned Klopp he needs to sign a new centre-back in January to stand a chance of defending their Premier League title.

Aldridge told the Sunday World : “Just when Jurgen Klopp dared to believe that he could navigate his way to success without Virgil van Dijk, he suddenly finds himself staring at mission impossible.

“The injury to Joe Gomez has plunged Liverpool into turmoil. While it looked like they were finding a way to win without Van Dijk, the defensive issues have now reached breaking point.

“Unfortunately, Gomez’s situation cannot be solved quickly and, when you throw in the reality that Joel Matip also has fitness worries, there is only one solution left.

“While Fabinho can slot in at centre-back and do a good job, Jordan Henderson could play in there at a push, and young lads like Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are showing real potential, Liverpool need to make their move to bring in a central defender now.

“That player needs to be ready to come to the club when the transfer window opens on January 1st, he needs to have a good fitness record – and also have top-level experience.”

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