By Dominic Toner
Liverpool may allow youngster Joe Gomez to leave Anfield on loan next season and are looking at bolstering their defensive options with Porto’s Ricardo Pereira, according to a report.
The Daily Star claim that the Reds defender Gomez could leave the club in order to experience regular first-team football, with a serious knee injury keeping him out of action for a year.
It is understood that Liverpool scouts have been watching right-back Pereira as an alternative, who is currently in the second year of a loan deal at French club Nice.
The report details that the Merseyside club are prepared to battle Inter Milan for the £22million-rated defender as manager Jurgen Klopp weighs up a move.
The Daily Star claim that Porto are willing to sell the player if his release clause is met and Liverpool have already lodged their interest with the player’s representatives.
Liverpool currently have Nathaniel Clyne, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gomez as solid options at right-back, while make-shift left-back James Milner has been the preferred option over the unsteady Alberto Moreno on the opposite flank.
Gomez, 19, has made just three senior appearances this season as he is eased back from injury and may be loaned out to help his development, with emerging youngster Alexander-Arnold moving ahead of him in the pecking order.
Meanwhile, summer target Pereira is a versatile defender that can play in either full-back position, while also being able to play in a more advanced role if needed
The 23-year-old has made 49 appearances during his loan spell with Nice, scoring one goal and supplying seven assists.
He has made 34 appearances for his parent club Porto and is set to return at there at the end of the season.
Football Insider verdict:
Liverpool need to seriously improve their squad in the summer if they are to consistently challenge at the top-end of the table and full-back positions is certainly one of those areas. Pereira looks like he could be a strong signing after impressing in France with Nice in the last 18 months. The versatile defender would be a good acquisition for Klopp as he can be used in both full-back positions. The Reds are currently well stocked with Clyne and Alexander-Arnold at right-back, but their left-back position certainly needs improving on in the summer. Meanwhile, a loan exit for emerging youngster Gomez could be the right move as he is still recovering from his injury setback. The Englishman can play in either full-back or centre-back positions and a loan move could help discover his best role.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Micky Quinn has predicted the club will have a busy summer window.