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Liverpool interested in Arsenal centre-back Shkodran Mustafi

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Shkodran Mustafi

Liverpool have identified Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi as a potential target to ease their central defensive crisis, a report from Standard Sport claims.

The Reds are likely to be without regular centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the season with serious knee injuries and it appears that Joel Matip could be out for a while with an ankle ligament damage.

This has left manager Jurgen Klopp without a senior central defender in the squad. Fabinho has been a regular choice in the position in recent months, but he is also out for the short-term with a minor muscle issue.

The Reds are scheduled to face West Ham United on the road tomorrow and, as things stand, it seems that captain Jordan Henderson could partner either Nathaniel Phillips or Rhys Williams, both of whom are inexperienced at the Premier League level.

Hence, it is not surprising that they are aiming to sign a centre-back on a short-term deal and Mustafi, who is currently out-of-favour with the Gunners, is one of the options under consideration for the Reds.

SportsLens view:

The 28-year-old is presently the fifth-choice centre-back in the Gunners squad behind Rob Holding, David Luiz, Gabriel Magalhaes and Pablo Mari.

He has been left out of the matchday squad for the past four league games and has played just three minutes since the beginning of November.

With under six months left on his contract, talks are underway to potentially terminate his deal with Lazio interested in signing him on a long-term contract.

Elsewhere, the Reds are only looking into a short-term move and they could tempt the Gunners with a loan proposal where they pay the player’s wages for the rest of the season.

That would offer Mustafi the chance to assess his options in the summer. It remains to be seen whether the Gunners are prepared to offload him to a league rival.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com