Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Will Reds Line Up Ryan Shawcross To Solve Defense?

Jake WareCorrespondent IIIAugust 2, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Ryan Shawcross of Stoke reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It is no secret Liverpool have been looking for a new centre back to plug the team's defenses, and yesterday's 3-3 draw against Vålerenga reinforced that need.

It appears the Reds are now set to turn to Stoke central defender Ryan Shawcross to try to improve the back four, according to Caught Offside. The Independent also speculated that he could be a potential transfer target.

In recent seasons, the two centre defense spots have rotated between Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Sotiris Kyrgiakos. When fit, Agger is one of the best defenders in the league, but he has always had tough injury problems. Dalglish is looking for more permanent options down the middle, and he rates the young Englishman very highly. 

A product of the Manchester United youth ranks, the 23-year-old Shawcross has solidified his place as one of the Premier League's elite defenders, with 134 appearances in the past four seasons for Stoke. His 6'3 frame makes him one of the most physically imposing players in the top flight, and Dalglish has been looking to add significant size to his young back four.

Though he grew up spending most of his life in Wales, the Stoke captain was born in Chester and recently announced that he would only consider playing internationally for England.

The Scot is planning a rebuild of his defensive line, and according to The Metro, he may bring in Aston Villa left back Stephen Warnock because of Newcastle's large transfer value for left back Jose Enrique, who has been a big Liverpool target for an extended time.

The Liverpool defense looks very, very strong again, with the two new signings complemented with Glen Johnson and any of the four potential centre backs mentioned above.

UPDATE: Stoke has denied the Caught Offside report, according to The Metro, claiming that Shawcross will not be sold.