Ozan Kabak transfer: Liverpool agree deal for Schalke centre-back as Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi set to join Bundesliga club

Liverpool agree Deadline Day move for Ozan Kabak from Schalke on initial loan deal with option to buy in the summer; Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi identified as replacement and will join Bundesliga side on Deadline Day;

Ozan Kabak - AP Images
Image: Ozan Kabak is a Deadline Day target for Liverpool

Liverpool have agreed a deal in principle with Schalke to sign central defender Ozan Kabak on a six-month loan with an option to buy.

According to Sky in Germany, the 20-year old Turkey international has already undergone a medical in Germany and is expected to fly into Merseyside in the next hours.

Schalke were unwilling to let Kabak leave without a replacement and have moved to secure Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi after the German terminated his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

preview image 0:21
Liverpool target Ozan Kabak arrives at Schalke's medical centre ahead of his proposed move to the champions

Kabak was on Liverpool's radar last summer and is a long-term target of the club's recruitment team.

Schalke paid £13m for him in 2019 and he is contracted to the Bundesliga club until 2024.

Shkodran Mustafi has had limited opportunities for Arsenal this season
Image: Shkodran Mustafi has had limited opportunities for Arsenal this season

The 28-year-old is in negotiations with Arsenal over an early termination of his contract which is due to expire in the summer, allowing him to join Schalke as a free agent.

Mustafi, who has 20 caps for Germany and was part of their 2014 World Cup-winning squad, has fallen out of Mikel Arteta's plans at the Emirates Stadium this season.

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Liverpool are also close to bringing in Preston defender Ben Davies, with the centre-back undergoing a medical ahead of a £1.6m move to Anfield.

The Premier League champions' move for Kabak came after they failed in an attempt to sign Marseille centre-back Duje Caleta-Car.

Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car jogs during the French League One soccer match between Marseille and Saint Etienne at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France, Thursday, Sept.17, 2020. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
Image: Liverpool were understood to have agreed a deal for Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car

Liverpool were understood to have agreed a deal with the Ligue 1 side for the 24-year-old Croatia international, who has been a regular under Andre Villas-Boas this season.

However, Marseille are believed to have pulled out of the deal amid concerns they could not sign a replacement for Caleta-Car before Monday's transfer deadline.

Ozan Kabak 2:49
Schalke are bottom of the Bundesliga with 49 goals conceded but Sky Germany's Max Bielefeld says that does not tell the full story about Liverpool's prospective new signing Ozan Kabak

'A huge potential': The view from Germany

Sky in Germany's Max Bielefeld:

"There are some question marks from English fans about Kabak but he's one of the most talented young centre-halves in the Bundesliga.

"Schalke have been in a state of crisis for a number of months so it's not been easy for Kabak, but he's really physical, good in the air and is really good in one-v-one situations.

"Jurgen Klopp has followed him for quite some time and they contacted the club last summer for a deal but it couldn't be reached back then. He's only 20 so he's got time to develop and I feel it's a good fit.

"Even if the other players do come back from injury, you have got a young player in Kabak who will be able to develop in the coming years.

"There are some who feel he will become a world-class defender. He has a huge potential."

'Kabak's agent should get knighted'

Ozan Kabak has completed a Deadline Day move to Liverpool 2:48
Paul Merson praised Ozan Kabak's agent as the defender edges towards a move to the Premier League champions Liverpool

Sky Sports' Paul Merson:

"I feel they are just bringing a couple of bodies in. When Fabinho got injured, I feel that was the moment where they had to drop Jordan Henderson into defence. It's just a case of getting bodies in. The top-drawer out there are going to be £70m-£80m players.

"When you buy them, they will be on between £100,000 and £200,000-a-week. They won't be playing in six months when Virgil van Dijk is fit and Joe Gomez is a very good player who will be one for the now. We can all spend the club's money but at the end of the day, it's a business. They are not expensive.

"The lad at Schalke won't believe his luck. If you are his agent, you would be looking to get knighted! He has just gone to the champions... they have just one won game all season! That really did shock me. The lad at Preston is a decent player but it's a massive jump. It's just a case of getting bodies in."

Follow Transfer Deadline Day on Sky Sports

The winter transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday, February 1, and Sky Sports will bring you all the drama as clubs scramble to get the final pieces of business over the line.

Head to Sky Sports News - channel 409 - for breaking news, reaction and analysis throughout the day from studio guests such as Harry Redknapp, Fabrizio Romano, Lianne Sanderson, David James, Darren Bent, Paul Merson and Alan Smith.

Our Transfer Centre blog will bring you all the latest developments across the leagues from 6am.

Join us from 8-11pm via the Sky Sports website and app, as well as on Facebook and Twitter @SkySportsNews and through the Sky Sports News YouTube channel.

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