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Liverpool ‘block’ loan move after Middlesbrough linked to Reds defender

According to The Scottish Sun, Middlesbrough are interested in signing Liverpool centre-back Rhys Williams, but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has now ‘blocked’ a loan move away from the club.

Williams broke into the Liverpool first team after Virgil van Dijk picked up a serious injury in October’s Merseyside derby and he has been used in rotation alongside Joel Matip, Fabinho and Nathaniel Phillips.

It is now reported that Middlesbrough are keen to sign the central defender in January but Jurgen Klopp is not looking to let the youngster leave due to the long-term injuries to both Joe Gomez and van Dijk.

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The 19-year old has played nine times for Liverpool so far this campaign, predominantly in the Champions League and the Carabao Cup, but he did start against Tottenham Hotspur in the 2-1 home win at Anfield last week.

Middlesbrough currently have a shortage of central defenders at the club. Dael Fry has played the majority of the season so far, but has played alongside Anfernee Dijskteel and Paddy McNair in a back three despite the former being a natural right-back and the latter a central midfielder.

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Summer signing Grant Hall has been plagued with injury since arriving at the club and manager Neil Warnock has had to promote youth with Nathan Wood coming in at the back on occasion.

Warnock will have enquired about Williams but given Klopp’s reluctance to allow him to leave Liverpool on loan it is likely Middlesbrough will now need to turn their attention to other targets in next months transfer window.

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