Liverpool are in “very advanced” talks to sign Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Piero Hincapie, according to a report that has emerged from his homeland of Ecuador.
The Reds decided against bringing in a new central defender during the summer transfer window, instead trusting on Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as the go-to quartet.
It felt like a bold move, especially as money was seemingly available to spend, with Matip and Gomez injury-prone figures, in particular.
Liverpool could look to make further signings once the January window opens, however, and it looks as though a defender could be at the top of their shopping list.
It isn’t known if a January or summer transfer is more likely, but it does appear as though Liverpool see the 21-year-old as a genuine target.
Our verdict on Liverpool’s talks with Hincapie…
Hincapie has already become such a key man for both Leverkusen and Ecuador, and his style of play fits into what the Reds are looking for perfectly.
A left-footed centre-back who can also slot in as a left-back, the youngster could be the perfect eventual replacement for either Van Dijk or Robertson, depending on how Jurgen Klopp potentially looks to use him.
Hincapie is a force on and off the ball, making 30 appearances for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga last season, averaging 2.5 clearance per match, as well as winning two aerial duels.
The 27-time capped Ecuador international is someone with a massive future in the game, and if Liverpool managed to entice him to the club, it could bolster their defensive options significantly moving forward.
Both Van Dijk and Matip are now 32, Gomez’s has suffered serious injuries and even Konate is unavailable a little too often, so having Hincapie in the Reds’ ranks would suddenly alleviate all those issues.
The fact that he is already such an impressive footballer at his age highlights how high his ceiling is, and the hope is that he is plying his trade at Anfield in January, or next summer at the very latest.