Liverpool are ready to begin their summer spending by making an offer to Schalke for imposing centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

With Jamie Carragher having left the club it is vitally important for manager Brendan Rodgers to find a suitable replacement and it seems as though Papadopoulous has emerged as one of the leading contenders.

Kyriakos Papadopoulos
Kyriakos Papadopoulos has excelled during his three year spell at Schalke [Reuters]

Yesterday it was widely reported that Liverpool are interested in signing Kolo Toure from Manchester City but it seems they are also keen on adding some youth to their squad.

Papadopoulos is just 21 years old but has already established himself as first choice for Schalke and for Greece where he first came to the fore during the European Championships last summer.

The Liverpool Echo reports that Rodgers is prepared to sanction a £12m offer for the powerful defender as he looks to find a suitable replacement for Carragher.

Liverpool did keep 16 clean sheets in the Premier League last season but Carragher played a huge part in the second half of the campaign and will be sorely missed.

Papadopoulos may not be a direct replacement, as he is very much at the beginning of his career, but he has plenty of attributes that make him a commanding central defender.

Physcially strong and very good in the air, he is also comfortable in possession which Rodgers asks of his defenders as Liverpool attempt to build from the back.

The Greece international did miss the second half of the season after undergoing surgery on his left knee but he has now fully recovered and would be ready for pre-season training.

Reports suggest that Schalke are prepared to listen to offers for the young defender despite him penning a new contract last season which runs until 2016.

The German club accepted an offer of £16m from Zenit St. Petersburg last summer but Papadopoulous rejected the advances of the wealthy Russian side and helped Schalke qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Liverpool are hoping that by attracting the likes of Toure and Papadopoulous that they will once again be able to compete for a place in the top four next season and seal a return to Champions League football.