Liverpool have identified Stade Rennes defender Arthur Theate as a target as they look to sign a left-sided centre-back, according to French daily L’EQUIPE (h/t @ActuSRFC_ on Twitter).
It was claimed at the start of the summer transfer window that the Reds wanted to bring in a left centre-back. However, they have focused on revamping their midfield all summer, with Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain departing.
Liverpool signed Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai for a combined sum of over €110 million early on. They’re also in the process of acquiring Wataru Endo from VfB Stuttgart for €19 million. With two weeks remaining in the transfer window, the club’s focus remains on further bolstering their options in midfield.
However, there appears to be a desire from the Merseyside-based club to sign a defender before the window closes on September 1. Rennes centre-back Theate has emerged as a target for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
At 23, Theate, who has eight senior caps for Belgium, falls into Liverpool’s ideal age category. As a left-footed player, the Rennes man is also comfortable operating as a left-back, making him a good fit for the Reds’ new 3-box-3 formation.
The Premier League giants, though, would have to shell out a significant amount of money to prise Theate away from Rennes. The Belgian is contracted to the French outfit till 2026, having joined them for €19 million last summer.
Theate does not appear to be the only left-footed central defender on the Anfield outfit’s radar, though. They’re also keeping tabs on Bayer Leverkusen star Piero Hincapie, according to German outlet Fussball Transfers.
A look at Liverpool target Arthur Theate’s career so far
Arthur Theate played as a striker for Belgian Pro League club KAS Eupen at the Under-14 level. During his time in KRC Genk’s youth ranks, he became a left winger and eventually moved to left-back and then centre-back. He also played for Standard Liege at youth level.
Theate made his senior debut for KV Oostende in their 2-1 Belgian Pro League loss to Beerschot in August 2020. He went on to make 40 appearances across competitions for Oostende. The defender helped them keep eight clean sheets, also netting five times.
Italian club Bologna signed Theate on loan with an obligation to buy in the summer of 2021. He made 31 Serie A appearances for them in the 2021-22 season, helping them keep nine clean sheets and contributing towards three goals.
Bologna made Theate’s move permanent for under €7 million in July 2022. However, they sold him to Rennes for €19 million less than a month later. The Liverpool target played 42 games across competitions for the Ligue 1 club last term, helping them keep 12 clean sheets.