It is fair to say that Liverpool's season has been haunted by one issue in particular: defensive injuries. As a result, the club have been forced to adapt. In all competitions, they have used 20 different centre-back partnerships - which is staggering, to say the very least.
Ahead of next season, Jurgen Klopp may feel inclined to delve into the transfer market to bolster his defensive options and avoid another such crisis.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Liverpool have identified Inter Milan's Alessandro Bastoni as a possible target. The report suggests the Reds are willing to pay £43 million this summer in order to seal the the Italian's services.
However, other clubs are said to be interested in the centre-back, including the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
The 21-year-old rose through the ranks at Atalanta before Inter Milan snapped him up for £28 million in 2017. So far this season, he has made 37 appearances in all competitions for an Inter side that currently sits nine points clear at the top of Serie A.
Bastoni would be an excellent addition to Klopp's squad, bringing additional quality and youth to Liverpool's defensive options. In this season's Serie A, he has a 58.3% tackle completion rate against dribblers, the 10th best in the competition (via FBref.com).
However, his defensive prowess is matched by a confidence to play out from the back - something Klopp looks for in a centre-back. Per 90, he ranks in the 97th percentile for progressive carries (6.74) as well as the 86th percentile for passes completed (70.02).
He also provides an attacking threat, even ranking in the 99th percentile for assists (0.12).
More importantly, would he sign for Liverpool?
Inter will no doubt be desperate to keep hold of their highly rated asset. Despite his valuation of £45 million, the Italian giants may likely demand far more, due to his age and importance to their squad.
Even if the Serie A leaders were to sell, qualification for next season's Champions League could be essential. Considering the calibre of clubs interested in his signature, Bastoni will want to play on Europe's greatest stage.
Liverpool also possess an ageing squad, with an average age of 29. Therefore, signing a player with his raw ability and glittering potential would be an exciting step in the right direction.
The club definitely has the pulling power, look only to the recent signings of Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Naby Keita as evidence of that.