Liverpool are no longer interested in signing Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, despite his impressive six-month spell at Anfield last season.
The 21-year-old joined the Reds on a short-term loan deal back in January as Jurgen Klopp sort defensive cover following an injury crisis.
However, the possibility of Klopp returning for the Turkey international was not completely off the cards, although that is no longer an option, according to well-respected journalist James Pearce.
Responding to a tweet asking if Liverpool would be looking to bring Kabak back to Anfield this summer, Pearce replied: “No. That ship has sailed.”
The youngster helped the 19-time English champions recover from a terrible start to the 2020/21 campaign, keeping three clean sheets in his nine league appearances as they finished third in the Premier League standings.
Kabak’s impressive performances alongside Nat Phillips in the heart of the Liverpool defence earned several plaudits, including Klopp himself.
“Ozan and Nat do really well. Hopefully, it can stay like this, so they can play a lot of games. They have started seven games together, that is good. I’m really happy for them,” said the German tactician.
“Ozan came in at 20 from Germany, was a big prospect but wasn’t lucky with the last two teams he played for; one went down (Stuttgart), and the other will probably go down (Schalke). But nobody really doubted his quality.
“We were convinced (of his quality), but in the end, you never know, and he really proved that point.”
While Klopp’s decision to bring in Konate over Kabak is understandable, news that the Schalke man definitely won’t be returning to the club should leave their supporters feeling gutted.
Virgil van Dijk will be returning from a potentially career-changing injury next season, while the trio of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Konate have all had extensive fitness concerns of their own throughout their careers.
With reports linking Phillips with a move away as well, the addition of Kabak would be a very welcome addition to Klopp’s charges as they attempt to regain their Premier League crown next term as there are no guarantees that Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip will be able to pick up where they left off after such long injury lay-offs.