• Liverpool are set to sign Real Betis' Aissa Mandi
  • The Reds have secured an $11 million deal for the defender
  • Mandi was initially valued at $35 million by Betis

Liverpool reportedly are close to signing Real Betis’ Aissa Mandi, who The Reds have considered as an ideal replacement for Dejan Lovren.

After spending six years at Anfield, 31-year-old defender Lovren has left the club to join Russia’s Zenit St Petersburg.

Mandi, who has just one year left in his contract with Real Betis, is tipped to leave the Spanish club. He is "on the verge" of joining Jurgen Klopp’s side this summer for a fee of $11 million, according to a report in talksPSORT, a sports website that specializes in transfer markets.

The 28-year-old Mandi is mainly a right-back, but he can also play as a central defender, and has impressed several European clubs during his stint with Real Betis, a club he joined in 2016. The talksSPORT report also revealed another Premier League side Newcastle United are monitoring Mandi’s transfer situation.

As of now, the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip are certainly Klopp’s first-choice centre-backs. However, Klopp could be left with just two if Matip leaves this summer as the Cameroon defender has been surprisingly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Even if that does not happen, Gomez and Matip are quite injury-prone, so Mandi’s addition could provide Klopp with the much-needed depth in the side.

It was understood that Real Betis had initially quoted $35 million for Mandi. That price looks unlikely to attract buyers, especially in the current times of the pandemic that has financially hit several sectors. Moreover, Real Betis failed to clear funds after their 31-year-old Moroccan defender Zouhair Feddal’s move to Sporting Lisbon fell through. In order to not let Mandi leave as a free agent next summer, Real Betis have agreed to Liverpool’s bid of $11 million, which could turn out to be a steal for the Premier League champions.

Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy for the first time on Wednesday
Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy for the first time after waiting 30 years for a league title. POOL / Laurence Griffiths

Liverpool secured the 2019-20 Premier League title with seven games to spare last month. That ended their 30-year wait to win the league title, which was also their maiden Premier League trophy. Klopp has been hailed for the team’s achievements since he took over the charge in 2015. As it stands, Liverpool are the current champions of England, Europe (Champions League) and the world (Club World Cup).