Liverpool are looking to exploit Schalke’s financial problems by signing Ozan Kabak in a half-price deal, Football Insider has learned.

Kabak, 21, moved to Anfield on a loan-to-buy January deal to plug the gap left by injured trio Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

Liverpool paid a £1.5million loan fee to Schalke as part of a deal that includes an option to buy the player for £18million at the end of the season.

But a Liverpool source has told Football Insider the club are already working in the background to sign Kabak for considerably less.

Indeed, the Merseysiders believe they may be able to negotiate the fee down to around £9-10million.

Talks are already taking place over that possibility and, significantly, Kabak is keen to join on a permanent deal.

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Manager Jurgen Klopp, with his German connections, is aware of the problems being suffered by Schalke.

The Bundesliga’s bottom club are in severe debt and facing almost certain relegation, with the gap from 17th placed Arminia already 12 points.

Former sporting director Michael Reschke departed last November and was recently appointed the head of European football at sports agency Stellar.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Liverpool have been strongly linked this week with RB Leipzig centre-back and Stellar client Ibrahima Konate.

It is almost certain Liverpool will sign at least one senior centre-back this summer and they could indeed recruit two.

Kabak has been a regular since his end-of-window arrival, starting seven of the team’s last eight Premier League and Champions League matches.

In other news, a Liverpool player transfer is all but done after proven star reaches “verbal agreement”.