at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Liverpool are closing in on a shock deal to make Manchester City defender Kolo Toure their first signing of the summer.
With Jamie Carragher now retired and doubts persisting over the long-term futures of Martin Skrtel and Sebastian Coates, manager Brendan Rodgers needs to find at least two central defenders and has wasted no time in moving for Toure, 32.
The Ivorian’s contract with City expires next month and, having stated his desire to stay in England, he is poised to become a Liverpool player on July 1, subject to agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.
Rodgers has looked at a number of players to bolster Liverpool’s defence, including Ajax’s Toby Alderweirled and Tiago Ilori of Sporting Lisbon, but he is a firmer admirer of Schalke’s Greece international Kyriakos Papadopoulos.
Chelsea have also been chasing the 21-year-old but are unwilling to pay Schalke’s £19million asking price.
Though Toure does not fit the age profile for Liverpool signings under American owners Fenway Sports Group, there is an understanding that experience needs to be added following Carragher’s departure.
Rodgers wants to make additions of similar quality to those of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge in January.
Coutinho, 20, has been outstanding since he arrived from Inter Milan for £8.5million and has arguably doubled his value.
‘When you bring somebody in during January, you hope they can make an impact,’ said Rodgers. ‘We are all pleasantly surprised by how well Philippe has done.’ – Daily Mail