Schalke defender Malick Thiaw responds to Liverpool speculation

Schalke 04 defender Malick Thiaw has admitted that he is flattered by links to Liverpool but is fully focused on performing in Germany.

Jurgen Klopp is facing a defensive crisis at Anfield with first-choice centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez facing lengthy spells on the sidelines, while Joel Matip has been in the wars as well.

The Reds have since been linked with a number of top centre-backs – namely Kalidou Koulibaly and Dayot Upamecano – to solve their problem, while Thiaw is also believed to be on the radar of the Premier League champions.

However, the 19-year-old affirmed that he is committed to Schalke after signing an extension with the Bundesliga side back in July, telling Schalke TV: “Of course you’re happy when big clubs are after you, but it was actually clear to me that I would stay at Schalke.”

The centre-back – who is eligible to represent Germany, Senegal or Finland at international level – already has one Bundesliga goal to his name this season and is contracted to Schalke until 2024.

As well as losing Van Dijk and Gomez to potentially season-ending injuries, Liverpool have also seen Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara suffer problems of their own, while Mohamed Salah recently tested positive for coronavirus.