Liverpool’s priority during the summer transfer window was to improve their leaky defence, specifically to bring in a quality centre-back to partner with Joel Matip.

Virgil van Dijk was Jurgen Klopp’s preferred target but after Southampton threatened to report the Reds for an illegal approach towards the Dutchman, Liverpool were forced to abandon their pursuit for the time being.

Klopp will move for a centre-back or two next summer and Lazio star Stefan de Vrij remains high on his shortlist, but the Reds will face competition from Inter Milan and Juventus for the Dutchman.

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De Vrij was linked with Liverpool in the summer as well but with his contract expiring at the end of the season, it’s looking increasingly likely that he will leave the Serie A club.

Liverpool can approach de Vrij from January regarding a summer switch and pre-contract talks may take place, but Inter Milan and Juventus want to keep him in Italy.

The Reds signed Matip on a free transfer from Schalke and a deal for de Vrij could be equally successful.

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