By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Liverpool have completed the loan signing of Steven Caulker in time for him to face Arsenal on Wednesday night, Football Insider sources understand.
The defender is in line to make an immediate debut in the marquee Premier League clash at Anfield after the Merseysiders’ beat the governing body’s deadline.
Caulker’s signing was registered with the Premier League before the noon on Tuesday, which means the 24-year-old is eligible to feature against Arsene Wenger’s table-toppers.
The QPR centre-back, who spent the first half of the campaign on loan with Southampton, is now travelling to Merseyside to undergo a medical and hopes to make it in time to train with his new teammates at Melwood later on Tuesday afternoon.
A source close to the situation has told Football Insider that Liverpool have an agreement with QPR to take the centre-back on loan for the rest of the season after the Londoners cancelled his Southampton loan.
The Merseysiders have targeted Caulker, 24, after an injury crisis left Jurgen Klopp with no fit senior defenders to face Exeter in the FA Cup last Friday.
Ex-Tottenham defender Caulker, who joined QPR from Cardiff in the summer of 2014, has been on loan at Southampton in the current campaign but has barely figured for Ronald Koeman’s team, where he is behind regular pairing Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk in the central defensive pecking order.
One of his few run-outs was the League Cup quarter-final against Liverpool at St Mary’s Stadium, when Daniel Sturridge run amok to steer the visitors to a 6-1 triumph.
Klopp has sanctioned a move for Caulker to plug a hole in his under-manned backline.
The Liverpool manager was forced to field left-back Jose Enrique and rookie Tiago Ilori as a makeshift centre-back partnership in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at Exeter after injuries left him without Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure.
Speaking at his media briefing on Monday, the Merseysiders’ boss said he is hopeful Sakho and Toure will be fit to face Arsenal in Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Anfield.
“I think Kolo will be available, so we will have a senior centre back,” he said. “Mama (Sakho) wants to be available so we will see if we can use him. Martin (Skrtel) is still a few weeks, Dejan the time of injury is only 6 days, something like 8 or 12 maybe (before he can return), so it’s close.
“There will be a moment where we can risk if we try, but it’s not a moment for this yet. “We have to look at Kolo and Mama and the next one is Lucas, so three senior.”