Jurrien Timber, Josko Gvardiol and the centre-backs Liverpool should be targeting in the summer transfer window

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Jurrien Timber Levi Colwill Josko Gvardiola 2022-23 GFX
With Joel Matip increasingly likely to depart, the Reds are expected to be in the market for a new defender this summer

Midfield is not the only thing on the agenda for Liverpool heading into the summer transfer window. While it is widely accepted that the Reds will - and need to - strengthen their engine room, defensive reinforcement could also be required for Jurgen Klopp.

With Joel Matip's future uncertain - sources have told GOAL the 31-year-old is increasingly likely to leave at the end of the season - and with Joe Gomez having endured a testing campaign, there could suddenly be a need for a new centre-back at Anfield, one capable of challenging, and eventually succeeding, first-choice Virgil van Dijk in the coming years.

But who is on the radar? GOAL takes a look at a few potential candidates...

  1. Josko Gvardiol

    Josko Gvardiol

    One of the stars of the Qatar World Cup, and a player tipped to make a big move in the near future, Gvardiol has been watched by a number of top clubs, Liverpool included.

    The Croatian has been in fine form for RB Leipzig this season, and unsurprisingly the Bundesliga club are desperate to keep the 21-year-old for at least another season. Their valuation, said to be around €90 million (£78m/$99m), is reflective of that.

    Manchester City and Chelsea are also understood to be keen on Gvardiol, who plays as a left-sided centre-back and has also played occasionally at left-back. Wherever he ends up, it is likely to be in the Premier League.

  2. Levi Colwill
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    Levi Colwill

    Brighton players are very much on the agenda for big clubs this summer, and Liverpool are no different. The Reds have made midfielder Alexis Mac Allister one of their top targets, and they are big admirers of Colwill, who has impressed at the Amex Stadium during a season-long loan from Chelsea.

    The 20-year-old is viewed as a future England international, and a player with the potential to play at the very highest level. His speed, temperament and calmness in possession stand out, though there is an acceptance that it will be difficult for any club to persuade Chelsea to sell.

    The word from Stamford Bridge is that Colwill will be part of the Blues' squad next season, but he is likely to want assurances over playing time, and if they do not arrive, then don't rule out a summer twist.

  3. Antonio Silva

    Antonio Silva

    Another centre-back being tipped for a big-money move, Silva has enjoyed a stellar campaign with Benfica, shining both domestically and in the Champions League.

    Still only 19, the Portugal international looks destined for a long career at the top level, and appears to have the skillset to thrive in the Premier League.

    But as Liverpool discovered when signing Darwin Nunez last summer, Benfica drive a hard bargain. Silva won't come cheap.

  4. Jurrien Timber

    Jurrien Timber

    If recent reports in the Netherlands are to be believed, Liverpool's Dutch contingent could be set for expansion. Timber, the Ajax defender, has been linked with a move to Anfield, and much about the story makes sense.

    At 21, Timber already has bags of senior experience to go with his obvious potential. He is a ball-playing centre-back who has also operated at right-back - a not insignificant fact given the recent redeployment of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    He is not the tallest but his upbringing at Ajax means he is both tactically and technically accomplished, and a rumoured asking price of less around £35m ($44m) should be within Liverpool's remit.

  5. Goncalo Inacio
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    Goncalo Inacio

    Another young, Portugal-based talent, Inacio has already racked up more than 100 games for Sporting CP and his performances this season suggest a move will soon be on the cards.

    Newcastle and Manchester United have been linked, with a rumoured price-tag of around £40m ($51m) set for the 21-year-old. Liverpool have checked on another Sporting player, the Uruguayan international midfielder Manuel Ugarte, and it would be a surprise if they haven't had glowing reports on Inacio back too.

  6. Kim Min-jae
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    Kim Min-jae

    One of the stars of Napoli's Serie A triumph, Kim Min-jae has enjoyed a brilliant first season in Italy following his switch from Fenerbahce last summer.

    Powerful, quick and commanding, the 26-year-old is rumoured to have a £42m ($53m) release clause in his Napoli contract, though inevitably the newly-crowned champions are keen to tie the South Korea star down to a new deal.

    Certainly, were he to be available this summer, then a host of clubs would be keen. Paris Saint-Germain are among those who have already been linked.

  7. Nayef Aguerd

    Nayef Aguerd

    Another player who impressed at the 2022 World Cup, Aguerd has begun to establish himself at West Ham in recent weeks following an injury-disrupted start to the campaign.

    The Moroccan international, 27, cost the Hammers around £30m ($38m) when joining from Rennes last summer, and would cost even more were he to move again so soon, but his height, aggression and speed could make him a more than interesting option for a club like Liverpool.

  8. Marc Guehi

    Marc Guehi

    Another Premier League option, Guehi has established himself as a consistent and impressive performer since leaving Chelsea for Crystal Palace, and has been linked with a move to high-flying Arsenal recently.

    The 22-year-old boasts a good all-round game, good enough to earn him three caps for England in the past year, and crucially has shown durability as well as quality, missing only three league games across the past two seasons.

  9. Jarrad Branthwaite

    Jarrad Branthwaite

    Not since Abel Xavier in 2002 has a player swapped Everton for Liverpool, but could that soon change? Branthwaite, 20, has spent this season on loan at PSV, where he played alongside Cody Gakpo, and his performances have been impressive enough to attract the attention of Liverpool's scouts.

    Signing him, of course, would be difficult, with Everton likely to want to keep the England Under-20 international, and even more likely to want to avoid selling him to their bitter rivals. But Branthwaite is certainly a name that has been mentioned at Anfield.