Liverpool chief Michael Edwards sent counter-offer as Dejan Lovren replacement deal close

Liverpool are reportedly just £1.8million away from signing Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi. The Algerian centre-back is on the club’s radar as they look to fill the void of Dejan Lovren.

Mandi has established himself as a regular at the heart of the Betis defence and has impressed scouts with his consistency in La Liga.

The 28-year-old has also been capped 55 times by his country Algeria and has the kind of experience required to replace Lovren.

While the Croatian was not first choice at Anfield, he has made a big contribution towards their success in the Champions League and Premier League.

Lovren enjoyed a run in the side alongside Virgil van Dijk before Christmas when the pair were the club’s only fit and available centre-backs.

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Mandi will need to be ready to step in and ensure this Liverpool side remain watertight at the back as they go in search of the Premier League title again.

According to the print edition of today’s Mirror (page 67), the Reds are in talks with Betis over a deal for Mandi.

It’s claimed that sporting director Michael Edwards has been told the player is his if he can raise his offer by just £1.8million.

Liverpool have offered around £9million to bring the star to Anfield, where he could join fellow Algerian Yasser Larouci, although his long-term future is unclear.

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While Mandi has a release clause of £25million, his club are willing to let the player go for £10.8m.

That’s close to what Zenit St Petersburg paid for Lovren, upon completing his switch to Russia.

Liverpool have also been linked with several other centre-backs.

Schalke’s Ozan Kabak is on Liverpool’s radar and Jurgen Klopp has received glowing reports from close friend David Wagner.

The defender has developed a reputation as one of the finest young players in the Bundesliga.

Ben White has also impressed Liverpool’s recruitment following a stellar loan spell with Leeds United.

He helped the club win the Championship and seal their return to the promised land, but is now set to rejoin Brighton.

Seagulls boss Graham Potter has ruled out a return to Leeds but Liverpool have shown an interest in his player.

“Absolutely 100 per cent,” Potter said when asked if White was ready for the Premier League.

“Yeah, I am (confident he will stay). He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us. I have known Ben for a while, I have been aware of him, wanted to try and sign him when we were at Swansea.

“I know about his qualities. He’s a fantastic player. He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion.

“That’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him but he’s our player and we’re looking forward to working with him.”

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