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Liverpool complete the loan signing of Ozan Kabak from Schalke

Liverpool has completed the transfer deadline-day signing of Ozan Kabak from Schalke, subject to international clearance.

The 20-year-old defender will move to the Merseyside on loan until the end of the season, with the Reds having the alternative to make the move permanent in the summer for a fee of £18 million ($25m).

Kabak, a Turkey international who moved to Schalke from Stuttgart in 2019, will be one of the two signings on a transfer deadline day.

He will be joined by Preston centre-back Ben Davies, who finalised his switch earlier on Monday.

Goal understands that Liverpool will pay an initial loan payment of around £1m ($1.4m) for Kabak, while the deal for Davies could worth more than £1.6m, should all performance add-ons be triggered.

The Reds had been insistent that it would be a quiet window, but they were forced to change their stance as the club’s injury problem at centre-back deteriorated significantly during January.

As things stand, all four of Jurgen Klopp’s senior centre-backs are sidelined with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are likely to miss the rest of the season, while there are fears that Joel Matip’s ankle ligament injury, suffered in the 3-1 win over Tottenham last week, could keep him out for a substantial time too.

Fabinho, who has performed incredibly since moving back from midfield, is also nurturing a muscle problem that has kept him out of the last two matches.

The Brazilian will miss Wednesday’s home game with Brighton but could be fit to return for Sunday’s blockbuster clash with Manchester City.

Liverpool contemplated on numerous options once it became clear that they would have to dip into the market.

They were offered the opportunity to sign Croatian international Duje Caleta-Car from Marseille, but that deal was dependant on the French club looking for a replacement for the 24-year-old before the Ligue 1 transfer deadline.

That meant that Kabak became their main target. A medical was finalized in Germany on Monday morning, with Schalke pressing on with a deal to sign Shkodran Mustafi from Arsenal as a replacement.

Born in Ankara, Kabak arose through the ranks at Turkish giants Galatasaray before moving to Stuttgart in January 2019.

Five months later he was on the move again, signing for Schalke in a deal worth €15m following Stuttgart’s relegation.

He has since featured in 36 appearances, developing as one of the few bright spots of a poor 2020 for the Gelsenkirchen side who sit rock bottom of the Bundesliga at present.

His career in Germany has not been without dispute. In September he was banned for five games and slam with a 15,000 Euro fine after being captured spitting at Werder Bremen’s Ludwig Augustinsson.

Kabak apologised to Augustinsson via Twitter afterwards, arguing that the incident, for which he was shown a red card, was an accident.

Meanwhile, Liverpool has also finalized the signing of goalkeeper Liam Hughes. The 19-year-old, a Northern Ireland U21 international, will be part of the club’s U23 squad.

A deal to sign highly-rated forward Kaide Gordon from Derby is also expected to be finalised, with the 16-year enrolled for the Reds ‘academy setup.

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