Signing Kolo Toure on a free transfer was a savvy bit of business, and it looks as though the Reds could make another quality move for the defense with their pursuit of Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
Liverpool have made a fresh approach for powerful Greek international defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos. Yet lingering concerns over the highly-rated Schalke centre-half's long term knee problem, have complicated negotiations, as the Reds try to thrash out fail-safe guarantees in any deal.
It is understood Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers—first linked with Papadopoulos in May—would ideally like to take the 21-year-old on loan initially, with a guaranteed fee of around £12 million to be paid if he erases all injury doubts.
Germans Schalke would prefer the cash up front, but accept they may have to compromise over a defender who has been sidelined since November following surgery on a serious knee ligament problem.
The move would also allow Liverpool to sell the unhappy Martin Skrtel, per Maddock, so it looks like a two birds, one stone situation.
If Liverpool could get Papadopoulos on an initial loan, it would essentially negate any risk in this move, which may make it too good to be true. Schalke may simply say, "Sign him or don't, if you are so worried about his injuries, we'll just keep him."
Then again, perhaps the prospect of getting £12 million back in the deal if Papadopoulos can stay on the pitch is so tempting that Schalke will be interested in compromising.
Papadopoulos isn't the biggest centre-back around, but he's very strong and has good leaping ability. He's very aggressive, is pretty nimble for the position and isn't afraid to show his emotions, yet from a playing standpoint he normally remains composed.
He has also been utilized as a defensive midfielder at times, so he brings with him some versatility, even if it is unlikely he would fill that role at Liverpool.
Per WhoScored.com, he was averaging 3.7 tackles, 2.9 interceptions and six clearances per match in the Bundesliga, all excellent marks, while completing 89 percent of his passes. The site also gave him a lofty 7.45 average match rating, so if he can stay healthy he would be a real force for the Reds.
If Liverpool can get him on an initial loan to test his health, hats off to the Anfield side. But even if the Reds can only get him through a straight-up transfer, he would be the perfect addition to the team, and Liverpool should pull the trigger.
If Luis Suarez isn't sold and Papadopoulos comes aboard, it would cap off an excellent summer for this team, one that would put the Reds in serious contention for a top-four finish next season. The former may be wishful thinking, but the latter looks pretty realistic and is a solid move for Liverpool.