Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the club to sign Dayot Upamecano ahead of Premier League rivals Liverpool, according to reports.
Jurgen Klopp has identified French defender Upamecano as a potential target as he tries to improve his defensive options after the injury crisis at the club.
But Klopp has all but ruled out the chances of the Reds signing a central defender during the January window, leaving the door open for Solskjaer to bring Upamecano to Old Trafford this month.
United were close to signing Upamecano last summer window and they remain interested as they look for a long-term partner for Harry Maguire.
The 22-year-old is rated as one of the best young defenders in Europe, having starred for Red Bull Leipzig over the past five years and making three appearances for the France national team.
The defender could be signed for £38m in the summer but Manchester United are considering making an offer of £55million to sign him this month, The Sun reports.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has repeatedly called on the club to sign a defender, with Van Dijk and Joe Gomez both sidelined with serious injuries, but Klopp concedes they are ‘unlikely’ to complete any signings in January.
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‘These decisions are not my decisions,’ the Liverpool boss said this week. ‘If somebody thinks we should do something, I cannot decide if we do something in the transfer market or not. That must be clear.
‘I cannot say definitely we will not bring anyone in, it’s just not likely because of the situation in the world. We should not forget that the situation is a tough one for all people and for football clubs as well.
‘There might be some clubs with absolutely no financial problems. But this club always was – and will always be with these owners – just very responsible with the things we do.’