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Liverpool 'make contact with former Arsenal defender Sokratis' as they scramble for defensive cover

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Liverpool have reached out to former Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos as they step up their search for defensive reinforcements, according to reports.

Jurgen Klopp's side have been ravaged by injury this season - particularly in defence - with key centre-back Virgil van Dijk a long-term absentee while Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have also been out for some time.

Youngster Rhys Williams has also been trusted in the heart of defence but failed to impress in Liverpool's 3-2 loss against Man United, leading for calls that the club should dip into the market for a new recruit to help the Reds out of their slump.

Klopp has previously made no secrets of his desire for a new defender and the club have now acted by making first contact with Greek international Sokratis, as reported by the Athletic.

A vastly experienced player with 463 club appearances and 90 caps for his country, still had six months left to run on his contract but had been left isolated by manager Mikel Arteta, having failed to feature since August.

He knows Klopp well from their time together at Dortmund - the German signed him for the Bundesliga club in 2013 and enjoyed a close relationship for two seasons before the boss left for Liverpool.

He struggled to fit in at the Rossonneri and was loan to Werder Bremen - eventually turning the move permanent and later joining Klopp at Dortmund, where he would become a mainstay and make nearly 200 appearances for the club.

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