Barcelona could make a shock January bid for Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren.
The Catalan giants are on the lookout for defensive reinforcements following injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen.
World Cup winner Umtiti was expected to face surgery and a lengthy lay-off with the knee problem he picked up in September.
And while he may now not need to go under the knife, there are still concerns over when the French defender will return.
Vermaelen is also set to be out for around six weeks, leaving Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet as Ernesto Valverde’s only senior options in central defence.
Mundo Deportivo reports they are keeping tabs on Lovren with the view to making a surprise move in January.
The Croatian has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield due to the excellent form of Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice pairing Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.
He made his first Premier League start of the season before the international break as Liverpool drew 0-0 with Manchester City .
Klopp switched Gomez to right-back in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold but it is unclear where Lovren fits into his plans going forward for the rest of the campaign.
The 29-year-old has no immediate plans to leave the club but that situation could change if the lack of opportunities continues over the coming weeks.
Lovren played in both of Croatia’s matches over the international break as the World Cup finalists drew with England and beat Jordan 2-1.
Liverpool are back in action against Huddersfield on Saturday before facing Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League and Lovren will expect to start in at least one of those matches.
He is not the only Reds player to be linked with a move to the Nou Camp with Valverde also believed to be keen on out-of-favour full-back Alberto Moreno.