Liverpool identify ‘priority’ cente-back signing for Arne Slot | Football

Willian Pacho is Liverpool’s ‘priority’ transfer target in central defence (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool are keeping close tabs on Willian Pacho and have identified the Eintracht Frankfurt defender as their top target at centre-back ahead of the summer transfer window.

The Merseyside giants appear intent on making Feyenoord manager Arne Slot their next manager, with the 45-year-old Dutchman now the overwhelming favourite to take over the reins from Jurgen Klopp at the end of the season.

And while Slot will no doubt want a say in Liverpool’s comings and goings should he take charge at Anfield, work is already underway behind the scenes as the club scour the market for potential reinforcements.

Recent reports claimed both Liverpool and Arsenal had made tentative inquiries for Frankfurt’s Pacho, 22, who is enjoying an excellent debut season in the Bundesliga following a move from Royal Antwerp last summer.

Pacho, capped ten times by his Ecuador, has quickly settled into life in the Bundesliga and has been instrumental in Frankfurt’s success this term, with the club sitting sixth and pushing for European football.

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Liverpool have made Pacho their ‘priority for the defence’ and placed the sought-after youngster at the top of their wishlist as they hunt for a left-footed centre-half.

It’s understood Frankfurt are well aware of growing interest from the Premier League in Pacho and a fee of between €50-60million (£43-51m) could convince them to part with the Ecuadorian.

Willian Pacho looks on

Frankfurt value Pacho at between €50-60m (Picture: Getty)

Pacho’s current deal with Frankfurt runs through to 2028, with the defender signing a five-year contract when he agreed to swap Belgium for Germany last summer.

Frankfurt landed Pacho for a fee of just €9m (£7.6m) last June and look set to make a tidy profit on the centre-back should he complete a move to the Premier League.

‘Willian is a very clever player, who listens well and is quick to implement what is asked of him,’ Frankfurt’s sporting director, Markus Krosche, recently said of Pacho.

‘His speed and strength in the tackle are what make him stand out.’

Frankfurt head coach Dino Toppmoller is confident Pacho has the potential to become ‘world-class’ should he keeps his feet on the ground and continue on the same trajectory.

‘He’s doing a great job, and is getting better all the time,’ Toppmoller told reporters earlier this season.

‘He’s really reliable and has world-class potential.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Twitter and Instagram.

Liverpool FC