Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly keen on adding Inter Milan defender Jeison Murillo to his squad in January, as the German's rebuilding programme at Anfield begins in earnest.
The Reds reportedly want to reinforce their back four in the second half of the season, and Italian outlet (h/t Aaron Flanagan of the Mirror) claimed the 23-year-old Colombia international would cost £22 million. Barcelona and Real Madrid are also keeping tabs on the central defender, who resides on Klopp's winter "wishlist."
Murillo has played 13 times in Serie A for the Nerazzurri this term, according to WhoScored.com, and his team leads Serie A, three points clear at the top of the division.
It has been a difficult few seasons for Inter, who have crashed from perennial champions to also-rans, but Murillo has helped the side rise to the top of the league once again.
Here is a video displaying why the defender is being considered by Klopp:
Murillo spent four years with Granada, featuring on loan for Cadiz and Las Palmas, before moving to the San Siro last summer. On signing for the club, Inter president Erick Thohir said, per Peter Hanson of Goal: "Jeison Murillo has determination and talent. He's a quality young player, we are pleased to announce his arrival. Roberto Mancini will get the best out of him and the fans will love his never-say-die attitude."
The player's performances in Italy have brought him to the attention of Liverpool, who have struggled to attain consistency during Klopp's short reign.
A five-game winning streak was recently brought to an end by no wins in three in all competitions, per WhoScored.com, and the German manager certainly needs to revamp his defence in January.
Liverpool have missed the presence of centre-back Mamadou Sakho, who has struggled with injury this season, but Klopp revealed he is due to return soon, relayed by James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:
Mamadou has trained completely normal.
It is a good situation. He started normal training last week and now he has completed this week. If it stays like this he will be ready.
Now he’s had many weeks out, everything is different, but when we all work together as a team it is easier for the centre-halves to play a normal game.
We want Mamadou’s quality and his strength but the team has to help him too.
In other news, Klopp also reportedly has his eyes on a striker and could move for Basel starlet Breel Embolo.
Italian outlet Calciomercato (h/t Flanagan) reported Liverpool "could be edging closer to a deal" for the teenager, who is one of Europe's most lauded young talents.
Klopp has seen his options squeezed because of the injury record of Daniel Sturridge, and the 18-year-old Embolo would strengthen the squad and have time to develop at Anfield.
If Klopp can tempt Murillo from Inter, he has a ready-made partner in Sakho, allowing Liverpool to build their new team from the foundations upwards.
The pair would give the Reds a combative edge against English attacking lineups and would help Klopp add aggression to his options.
Liverpool sit only a few points outside the Premier League top four, and a good run through Christmas and January will see them primed to compete for a Champions League spot.
If Klopp can reinforce his defence with Murillo, a chase for the league title is not an impossibility.