Liverpool transfer target has price tag 'slashed' as Arne Slot eyes Joël Matip replacement

Willian Pacho of Eintracht Frankfurt during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt at BayArena on December 17, 2023 in Leverkusen, Germany.
Willian Pacho of Eintracht Frankfurt -Credit:Photo by Leon Kuegeler/Getty Images

Liverpool is likely to be linked with numerous players this summer as the post-Jürgen Klopp era begins in earnest. The center of the defense is surely the area of the squad that requires the greatest attention though.

It seems likely that Joël Matip will leave as his contract ends at the conclusion of the season and he has been injured since the end of 2023. Joe Gomez has barely played at center-back this season, though perhaps Klopp’s successor – very likely to be Arne Slot – reverts the England international to his primary position.

But if not, that would leave only Ibrahima Konaté, Jarell Quansah and Virgil van Dijk to cover two spots as the Reds compete on four fronts, including in an expanded Champions League. It is no surprise the club is rumored to be looking at defensive reinforcements and it has learned of a potential reduced asking price for a heavily-linked target.

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The player in question is Eintracht Frankfurt defender Willian Pacho. He has reportedly been of interest to Liverpool for some time, though the four years remaining on his contract mean a move perhaps feels unlikely at this point.

However, if the transfer fee required to sign Pacho has been lowered, as has been claimed by Sky Germany (via Liverpool Echo), then his current deal may not be as much of an issue for Richard Hughes and Michael Edwards. It is claimed that Frankfurt has set its asking price at between $53.8m (£43m/€50m) and $64.6m (£51.6m/€60m).

This would be a reduction of around $21.3m (£17m/€19.8m) on a previously reported cost for the Ecuadorian. Either way, Pacho’s value has risen sharply since he joined Frankfurt for just $9.7m (£7.7m/€9m) from Royal Antwerp last summer.

The 22-year-old, who has 10 caps and two goals for his country, has made 42 appearances this season. He has missed just one Bundesliga match and two in the UEFA Conference League, proving his durability.

Pacho’s scouting report on FBRef lists Marc Guéhi and Max Kilman among the defenders with whom he is most statistically similar. Other names such as Simon Kjær and Malick Thiaw are also present and have been linked with Liverpool in the past. says: While the sporting director will have changed, history shows Liverpool will not balk at paying that sort of fee for a young player from the Bundesliga. Pacho would cost less than the Reds spent on Dominik Szoboszlai last summer, for instance, and he is a year younger than the Hungarian. This story could be set to run for some time.