Liverpool could reportedly be about to complete their fourth signing of the summer, and the marquee name to come through the famous Anfield gates is…erm…Ragnar Klavan.
According to BBC Sport, Jurgen Klopp is close to completing a £4.2m deal for the Augsburg centre-back, who is a 30-year-old Estonian, as he seeks cover for the injured Mamadou Sakho.
The problem with 30-year-old Estonian defenders – they aren’t very well known! But don’t worry Reds fans, CaughtOffside has you covered with 10 facts about your prospective signing.
1. Liverpool have seen him first hand – He played against Liverpool in last season’s Europa League, helping Augsburg to a clean sheet in Germany, although the Reds won 1-0 at Anfield.
2. Familiar faces at Anfield – Klavan has played against Adam Lallana, James Milner, Nathaniel Clyne and Jordan Henderson at international level – most recently in Euro 2016 qualifying.
3. International centurion – He has a total of 108 international caps for Estonia – four of which have come against England. That makes him the eighth-most capped Estonian footballer in history.
4. Won a major European league – Lifted the Eredivisie title with AZ Alkmaar in 2009, six months after joining them from Heracles. He would be only the fourth Liverpool player with a major European league title under his belt, along with James Milner, Mamadou Sakho and Mario Balotelli.
5. Played under Louis van Gaal – It was under the management of sacked Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal that Klavan enjoyed his AZ success. Klopp will be a different kettle of fish!
6. Reliable and injury free – Klavan is known for his reliability, having only missed three league games in his last two seasons at Augsburg, a bonus considering Liverpool’s injury crisis of last term.
7. Measured in the tackle – The experienced defender is tough in the tackle, but not reckless. He was shown just two Bundesliga yellow cards last season and averaged less than one foul per game.
8. He is left footed – Klavan will be able to slip straight in for Sakho and Joe Gomez, both of whom will miss the start of the campaign, because he is left-footed. Can also do a job at full-back if required.
9. Had a trial with Sunderland – The Telegraph understands that Sunderland offered Klavan a trial when he was still a teenager plying in Estonia for Viljandi JK Tulevik, but things didn’t work out.
10. Rejected Everton in 2005 – This will make him popular with Liverpool fans! The Telegraph claims that Klavan turned down a move to Everton in 2005 because they weren’t in Europe!
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