Jurgen Klopp has been told he is better off signing a centre-back that will be good enough to start, not a back-up option.
It comes as Liverpool contend with the absences of first-choice pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
The Dutchman was put out for the season after a challenge from Jordan Pickford in October.
While Gomez was ruled out long-term after suffering an injury on international duty.
It has left Klopp scratching his head over who to play in the position, with Fabinho being dropped from midfield into the backline.
Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips, Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip have all played alongside the Brazilian.
But with the January transfer window open, Klopp can now splash out on a new centre-back, with several on the radar.
Brighton star Ben White, Schalke ace Ozan Kabak and Lille defender Sven Botman have been linked.
And former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has advised Klopp to avoid panic-buying.
He has urged the German to sign a first-team star, even with a clean bill of health, saying: “I wouldn't be saying they should go and get cover.
“I think if they can get somebody they want, have been tracking, they really like and could potentially be a first-team player, yes try and make it happen early.
“But don't go and buy cover, they've got cover. If you're going to go and get someone it's got to be not a panic buy.
“They waited for Van Dijk for probably six months, nine months, they wanted him earlier didn't they and they waited because that was who they wanted.
“So I wouldn't go and get cover, no. If I could go and get someone I really wanted and I really thought could make an improvement to the team, I would try to make it happen in January rather than wait until the summer.
“But that's easier said than done because I imagine the type of player they're looking at will be at Champions League clubs, where they're not going to want to sell. It's a difficult one for Liverpool.
“I'm not privy to being on the training pitch to see the quality of the younger players, how much belief Jurgen Klopp has in them, [Nat] Phillips and [Rhys] Williams, I'm not sure. So we'll have to wait and see.
“My gut feeling is that they will try and get something done in January, that's my gut feeling.”
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