Liverpool target starlet Joe Gomez

Liverpool are weighing up a bid for Charlton teenager Joe Gomez as a replacement for the soon-to-be-offloaded Sebastian Coates.

Liverpool target starlet Joe Gomez

With Sunderland seemingly set to pay £4million to make Coates’ loan last season into a permanent deal, the Reds are on the lookout for cover at centre-back.

It is understood Gomez, aged 18, is of interest and while no formal offer has yet been made, the club believe there is a possibility of signing the England Under-19 defender for about £3.5m.

Liverpool currently have four senior central defenders in Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, last summer’s £20m arrival Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure.

Skrtel, who is out of contract in a year’s time, is stalling over the terms of a new deal offered towards the end of last season while the 34-year-old Toure, whose new 12-month extension takes him to next summer, is not a long-term option.

Liverpool also have Tiago Ilori, a 22-year-old signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2013 but who has yet to make a first-team appearance and has spent loan spells at Granada and Bordeaux.

Gomez, whose breakthrough season in the Sky Bet Championship last term saw him make 24 appearances, is viewed as a long-term prospect and — like Ilori — would more than likely be loaned out for more experience.

Liverpool are keen to strengthen their defence further with the addition of a right-back after Glen Johnson’s contract was not renewed. With a second knee operation ruling out Jon Flanagan until late in the year, manager Brendan Rodgers’ current options are Spaniard Javier Manquillo, halfway through a two-year loan from Atletico Madrid, and the 22-year-old Andre Wisdom, who has spent the previous two campaigns on loan at Derby and West Brom and has just signed a new four-year deal.

In terms of outgoings the club remain insistent Raheem Sterling, who turned down a £100,000-a-week contract in January, is not for sale after turning down a £30m offer from Manchester City last week. Reports suggest City will return with an improved bid of £40m

Elsewhere defender Brede Hangeland has signed a new one-year contract with Crystal Palace, while Gareth McAuley has signed a new one-year contract with West Brom.

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