Had things gone differently in January, Newcastle would have signed Ozan Kabak instead of Liverpool.
The Turkish defender joined the Reds on deadline day, with a view to a permanent deal.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s side weren’t the only ones chasing Kabak in January.
According to the Sunday Mirror (Football pullout, 14/02, p8) last month, the youngster was prepared to join Newcastle until Liverpool swooped in late in the day.
They also claimed that Newcastle would be willing to sign Kabak in the summer if Liverpool decide against keeping him at Anfield.
So could a report on Liverpool’s latest transfer move aid Newcastle’s pursuit of the 21-year-old?
Konate to take Kabak’s place at Liverpool?
According to the Athletic, Liverpool are close to finalising a deal for RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate.
The Frenchman has a buyout clause of £34million, and it is reported that Liverpool have made ‘significant progress’ on a deal to bring him to Anfield.
If Konate arrives, that would mean Liverpool have signed three centre-backs in six months.
As well as Kabak, they also added Ben Davies permanently in January.
It’s no surprise Liverpool have been busy bringing in central defenders, as injuries in that position have severely cost them this season.
But could a deal for Konate change their stance on Kabak?
The Reds reportedly have a deal in place for Kabak, but must decide whether or not to complete an £18million permanent transfer.
There is no obligation for Liverpool to complete a deal, meaning they could send him back to Schalke this summer.
While they have struggled at the back this season, they could end up with too many options next season. Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez will be back from injury, while Davies is still waiting for his opportunity. They also have Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips.
If they do complete a deal for Konate, that means they will have seven senior centre-backs before they make Kabak’s move permanent.
Could that change Klopp’s mind about Kabak?
If so, it will open the door for Newcastle to make a move – providing we stay up.
While we have multiple options at centre-back, most of them are just either side of 30.
At 21, Kabak would be a great option for the present and the future.
Of course, it all depends on what Liverpool want to do. And if we’re still a Premier League club.