Liverpool have made signing Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi their number one priority for the summer transfer window, according to The Mirror.
The English tabloid claim that the former Chelsea player is “top of their shopping list” as they seek to recruit a replacement for Joel Matip.
It is believed that the Reds were already looking at options before Matip sustained a season-ending knee injury earlier this campaign.
The 33-year-old is out of contract in June and, while there are suggestions that the centre-back could be given a new deal, the club’s recruitment team have identified Guehi as his long-term successor.
Guehi will cost a sizeable sum
Palace are extremely reluctant to let one of their key players leave midway through the season so Liverpool didn’t consider making an attempt to sign the 23-year-old this month.
However, his club are expected to be more amenable to a potential sale in the summer. Guehi will, though, still have a high asking price, with multiple reports suggesting that Palace could hold out for as much as £60m.
Liverpool need to plan for the future
Jurgen Klopp’s side actually have the best defence in the Premier League this season, so some fans may question why Guehi is seen as such an important signing, especially as the club already have the likes of Ibrahima Konate (24), Joe Gomez (26) and Jarell Quansah (20). The trio are all the right age to stay at Anfield for many more years to come.
However, the pursuit of Guehi is likely more to do with Virgil van Dijk. Both the Dutchman and Matip are the wrong side of 30, so recruiting a younger player who could potentially replace both of them in the long term is a sensible approach.
In addition, Guehi is right-footed but he is comfortable playing as the left-sided centre-back, which makes him able to fill in for van Dijk.