The English club have been monitoring young centre-backs in the past few months.
According to multiple reports emanating from England, Southampton centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap is subject to interest from Liverpool.
The Germany international joined Southampton from VfL Bochum in July 2022. His contract is set to expire at the end of the 2025/26 campaign.
The centre-back has featured in six matches for Southampton this term, providing one assist in all competitions.
He has been touted as one of the brightest young prospects in Germany. Bella-Kotchap has represented Germany at Under-18, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level, winning 16 caps.
His impressive performances this season have apparently caught the eye of some of Premier League’s big clubs.
Jürgen Klopp wants to sign a new centre-back and Armel Bella-Kotchap is one of the names at the top of his wishlist.
The Reds will have funds to spend in the market and it will be interesting to see how they approach the winter transfer window.
The former VfL Bochum man heavily relies on his ability to read the game. It is coupled with his sensible tackling and an excellent sense of positioning, allowing him to repel most of the danger in the defensive third.
According to the report, “Liverpool have a growing interest in signing Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap with the player reportedly earmarked as the eventual successor to Virgil van Dijk. The Reds have a history of raiding St Mary’s over recent years with several deals taking place. Indeed, as well as Van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Peter Crouch and Nathaniel Clyne have all made moves to Liverpool in recent years. Now it seems another raid may be on the cards with reports indicating their desire to land Bella-Kotchup. The 20-year-old only moved to St Mary’s in a summer switch from Bochum, Saints paying a modest £8.6m fee. That deal, though, already looks shrewd business for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side with Bella-Kotchap playing every minute so far for Saints. Such has been his fine form that the player has recently been called into the Germany squad. He now looks a good bet to make Hansi Flick’s World Cup squad, where he will compete with the likes of Nicklas Sule, Antonio Rudiger and Jonathan Tah. However, his rapid rise has also brought him to the attention of several other big hitters. To that end, the Reds will likely face competition from Bayern Munich and Real Madrid for his signature. Per those reports in the Spanish press, Jurgen Klopp and Co believe Bella-Kotchap is an ideal successor to Van Dijk.”
Euro Football Rumours
Liverpool will have to present a really enticing offer to bring Southampton to the negotiating table. They have the resources to tempt them but it will be interesting to see if they are willing to overpay for the player.
Southampton are preparing to sell their centre-back should they receive a massive offer for him.
Good signing for Liverpool?
It is smart from the club to invest in younger players, rather than splashing out big money on experienced players with no resale value.
Of course, the 20-year-old is not going to become a regular for Liverpool straightaway, but working under Klopp would make him a better player.
How strong that interest is and whether Liverpool will make a move remains to be seen but it is certainly one worth keeping an eye on.
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Should Liverpool make a move for Armel Bella-Kotchap?
Bologna-born Giuseppe Bianchi has spent more than a decade living in Rome and writing about Italian football, Spanish football and the Premier League for various Italian football portals and now he writes about European football for Euro Football Rumours. He's been thinking about football transfers pretty much nonstop since the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. Aside from writing, he likes to spend his time fishing and rock climbing.