By support

15th Jan, 2017 | 12:23pm

Report: Liverpool eye £10m-rated PL defender, swap deal possible

By Harvey Byrne

Liverpool are targeting Southampton defender Jose Fonte in an effort to bolster their defence, according to a report.

The Mirror has claimed that the Reds are keen to bring in the 33-year-old to reinforce their defensive options.

The Portugal international has recently been omitted from the Saints’ squad after handing in a transfer request earlier this month.

But, it is believed that the south coast club are still looking for £10million for their wantaway star.

However, Southampton will also be in need of a central defender and it is claimed that Mamadou Sakho could be used as part of the deal.

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Fonte made the switch to the south coast while they were in League One in the January 2010 window for £1.2million.

He has helped rise the club up from the third tier, while also becoming a Euro 2016 winner himself.

Meanwhile, Sakho was obtained for a huge £18million from cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain in 2013.

The player was hit with a drugs ban towards the end of last season, which saw him miss his side’s Europa League final, as well as France’s European Championship campaign.

He had returned to the Reds in pre-season, but was soon sent home from the United States after falling out with Jurgen Klopp.

Sakho has not featured for the Merseyside giants at all this campaign and it is safe to assume his future at Liverpool is nearing it’s end with three years left on his contract.

Football Insider verdict:

Southampton are unlikely to be interested in Sakho, meaning that Liverpool may have to pay out the full £10million, which is a relatively little fee in the modern era. It was reported in the week that a number of club’s had been put off by the Frenchman’s wages at Anfield and the Saints are unlikely to break their budget for a player who hasn’t played for half a season. Meanwhile, Fonte is much more of an asset to the Hampshire-based side than what Sakho is to Liverpool. The Reds are in desperate need for a new centre-back and Klopp should spend the fee to bring the Portuguese in. If it’s the difference between a title win or not, then the fee will be repaid.

In other Liverpool transfer news, Paul Merson believes the Reds would win the league with this January signing.

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