Liverpool vice-captain Daniel Agger has pledged his future to the Anfield club, but manager Brendan Rodgers is still in the market for cover at centre-half and could renew his interest in Schalke stopper Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
The Danish defender, who has been repeatedly linked with a move to La Liga champions Barcelona, insisted he has never thought about leaving the club and has so much affection for Liverpool he doesn’t mind if they don’t reach the top-four this season.
The Anfield outfit are currently a 6/4 shot to gain a Champions League spot this season.
While they will be delighted with Agger’s declarations of loyalty the Merseysiders are still in need of new faces at the back.
Sebastian Coates is expected to miss most of the season through injury and Kolo Toure was thrust straight into the first-team following his free transfer from Manchester City.
Martin Skrtel is clearly out-of-favour with his current gaffer, having been dropped for long periods last season and did not feature in Liverpool’s opener against Stoke City at Anfield.
The Reds have rebuffed an approach from Napoli for the Slovakian, but are thought to be willing to let the defender join his old boss Rafa Benitez at the Stadio San Paolo if Rodgers can find a suitable replacement.
Greek international Papadopoulos is thought to be the former Swansea chief’s first-choice replacement and reports that Schalke may drop their £13m asking price due to question-marks over the players long-term fitness could see Rodgers get his man.
The 21-year-old has already made 16 appearances for his country and has experience at the highest level, having faced the Anfield club’s hated rivals Manchester United home and away in the Champions League semi-final as a 19-year-old.
Schalke lost just one of their first six Bundesliga games last season – against eventual treble-winners Bayern Munich – before Papadopoulos went down with injury and they struggled for consistency without him, dropping a place and nine points from the previous season when finishing fourth.