Diego Llorente on Liverpool’s radar as Real Sociedad prepare to sell defender under release clause

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By Scott Mason – @ScottMason00

Liverpool are ready to submit an offer of £22m for Real Sociedad centre back Diego Llorente, according to Spanish paper AS.

AS claim that Liverpool have been “intensely monitoring” the 25-year-old for a while and intend to making an offer in the region of £22m – half the price of the Spaniard’s £44m release clause.

The Reds could face competition from Merseyside neighbours Everton, who are also reportedly interested in the services of the Spanish international.

Llorente, a product of Real Madrid’s youth system, is a ball-playing centre half who provides a calm presence at the back while being excellent in the air and possessing an eye for goal, scoring seven times in the previous season.

The Txuri-urdin defender was, however, plagued with injuries this past season, missing 15 games and making only 22 appearances for Real Sociedad.

It is unlikely that Llorente would be signed as the main partner for Virgil van Dijk and would most likely be used in rotation with Joel Matip and Joe Gomez. The Spaniard could replace Dejan Lovren, who has been linked with a move to Italy.

Jurgen Klopp’s squad does lack depth in the centre back department and this was evident this season when Fabinho was used as a makeshift central defender.

Llorente does possess many of the necessary tools to be a Liverpool player but, after showing signs of proneness to injury, signing the former Real Madrid man would be a risk.

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