Angelo Ogbonna to Liverpool: Rubbishing the Rumour
But do the Reds really need a central defender, or are there more obvious frailties to deal with come the winter transfer window?
Read on to find a compelling argument as to why Brendan Rodgers should not be tempted to invest in the Granata powerhouse.
Angelo Ogbonna is enjoying a phenomenal year.
It started with his selection for the Italian national team for this summer's Euro 2012 competition, keeping company with the likes of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. While he didn't make an appearance, it was enough to give his confidence a tremendous boost.
Come the start of the 2012-13 Serie A season, the Frosinone-born central defender was ready to shine.
After eight league appearances this campaign, Ogbonna has averaged an impressive 2.3 tackles and 3.5 interceptions per game. While his defensive work is solid, it's his ball skills that has Europe's heavyweights purring.
A 94 percent pass completion rate, including an average of 7.1 accurate long balls per game is good for fourth-best in European football.
Perhaps a more appropriate question is who wouldn't want him?
Liverpool currently employ six players capable of playing at centre-back, the position in which Angelo Ogbonna excels.
Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel have formed a sustainable partnership over the past few seasons, with both Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers using the pair as their first choice.
In addition to these seasoned professionals, Rodgers has fast-tracked Andre Wisdom into the first-team plans, and the 19-year-old has already made 10 starting appearances this season. Sebastian Coates, another young prospect, remains a little rough around the edges and currently serves as backup.
If the Reds are desperate, veteran Jamie Carragher is on stand-by while another prospect in the form of Martin Kelly is an emergency option coming over from right-back.
Not so Desperate Need
So with six players on the books who are capable at centre-back, including four who excel in this area, is there a pressing need to buy a quality central defender?
In a word—no.
Liverpool have far more pressing needs to address this January as injuries have left Brendan Rodgers a little thin on the ground in offensive areas.
Forward Fabio Borini sustained a broken foot in early October (via LiverpoolEcho.co.uk), to leave his manager with just Suso, Stewart Downing and Raheem Sterling available to play either side of lone striker Luis Suarez.
Beyond Suarez, the Reds will struggle to find anyone who could consistently average one goal every two games.
Surely this is the place to strengthen if any?
Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner has stated that his club will be splashing the cash this January (via The Metro).
That said, such are the outrageous winter prices generally bandied around, "splashing" is not likely to equate to signing five new players.
The cost of securing a reliable striker and dangerous wide forward alone will be in excess of £20 million, and the third priority is likely a holding midfield reinforcements due to the unpredictable nature of Lucas Leiva's injury status.
According to various sources, Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna would cost "much more than €12 million" (h/t Liverpool-kop.com).
Is central defence such a worry that Brendan Rodgers could be tempted to spend so much on that position? It's difficult to make that argument with any conviction whatsoever.