Bengaluru, May 28: Premier League giants Liverpool are preparing a £22million bid for Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente, according to reports in Spain.
The former Real Madrid star, 25, has a £44m release clause in his contract, but could be available for a fee close to £28m as believed in Spain.
Jurgen Klopp is hoping to add some depth to his back-four this summer after being caught short earlier in 2019 after a brutal run of injuries.
At times, the Reds were forced to deploy midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in the heart of defence, while Dutch youngster Ki-Jana Hoever, 17, was also given a run-out in the FA Cup loss to Wolves, with winger Rafa Camacho also forced into a defensive role.
Now Klopp is set to add some reinforcements, and Llorente would likely serve as a top-quality back-up to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
The Liverpool pair formed a fearsome defensive pairing in the first-half of the season before Gomez's nasty injury.
However, Joel Matip stepped in and has been rock-solid in the closing stages of the season but Liverpool boss Klopp is reportedly looking to leave no stones unturned in his quest of catching up with Manchester City in terms of quality of the squad.
With Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren both struggling for consistency and with injuries in the past few seasons, the Reds believe the time is right to swoop for Llorente.
The Spaniard spent 15 years at Los Blancos, working his way through Real's C and B teams, before finally breaking into the first-team after a decade in their academy.
Strong in the air and with excellent positioning, Llorente could be just the sort of player Klopp needs as he recharges his players for another title push.
The Spaniard is equally adept playing in a holding midfield role as he is in the heart of defence, with his versatility appealing to the Kop boss.
Liverpool fell agonisingly short, missing out on their first-ever Premier League crown to Manchester City by a single point on the final day of the season.
Since joining Real Sociedad in 2017, Llorente has gone on to make 44 La Liga appearances, scoring three times.
He has also won two caps for Spain's senior side, since making his debut in 2016 in a 3-1 win over Switzerland, coming off the bench to replace Cesc Fabregas.