Long term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, and a fresh one for Joel Matip, have forced Liverpool to look for a new centre-back late in the winter market.

Matip’s latest injury looks likely to have tipped the edge on their decision making.

Duje Ćaleta-Car has been identified as a target by the Merseyside club, according to RMC Sport.

It’s claimed the defender came ‘very close’ to joining the English champions before Marseille ‘refused to let him go’.

As per the report, the Croatia international was at the airport with his partner on Sunday, waiting for an outcome to be reached from negotiations between the two sides.

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The 24-year-old was even ‘ready to take off for England’ in a private jet. The plan was to arrive in Manchester and then take the road to Liverpool, with the idea of committing to Jürgen Klopp’s side.

Ćaleta-Car was in advanced negotiations with the Premier League winners, but the latter’s talks didn’t progress well with the French club.

Marseille rejected the approach made by Liverpool because they felt it was too late for them to find a replacement for their own player.

Therefore, the Ligue 1 side ended talks with the Anfield club and Ćaleta-Car is expected to finish the season with his current employer.

L’Equipe back it up and say it’s a decision ‘which should not change today’.