Liverpool are in the market for a goalkeeper this summer. So claim a variety of news outlets who are linking the Reds with a whole host of shot-stoppers from across Europe.
It’s not what supporters had envisaged when Loris Karius arrived last summer, for what appeared to be a bargain £4.7million fee.
The former Mainz stopper was tipped to be Manuel Neuer’s heir to the German number one jersey. He was voted as the second best ‘keeper in the Bundesliga during the 2015/16 season, falling just short of the Bayern Munich man.
Big things were expected but like so many before him he fell victim to the curse of the ‘keepers at Anfield. He had a few suspect moments and wasn’t helped by the fact the defence occasionally hung him out to dry. The media pressure intensified and Jurgen Klopp removed Karius from the spotlight.
For supporters it must have felt like a severe case of deja-vu.
Liverpool haven’t been blessed with top quality goalkeepers since the inception of the Premier League. Many have tried their hand, literally, but for one reason or another they just haven’t been up to requisite standard to be a long-term solution.
Jose Reina, now at Napoli, was the closest thing to a world class ‘keeper Liverpool have had. For a period of time he was arguably one of the best in Europe but his decline in form was alarming. Near post shots were his kryptonite and what started off as a small weaknesses quickly became the elephant in the room.
Simon Mignolet isn’t the answer to any of the questions being asked by the red half of Merseyside. The future of Loris Karius is still up in the air with him sat on the bench despite the fact the Belgian is once again making mistakes.
So here’s a look at the ‘keepers who have been linked with a summer move to join Klopp’s revolution.
Name: Bernd Leno
Current Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Bernd Leno has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a number of years. The inconsistent shot-stopper was tipped for big things when he initially burst onto the scene and many believed he would eventually rival Manuel Neuer as the German number one.
However, the 24-year-old has stagnated a little at Leverkusen and his erratic performances are the reason a bigger team hasn’t come in for him already. One moment he looks world class and the next he looks like Adam Bogdan.
According to TransferMarketWeb, Leno could be available for €22million in the summer and they claim both Liverpool and Arsenal are interested. It would be a strange signing for the Reds. He’s just as inconsistent as Mignolet but he would cost double what the Belgian was signed for. If Klopp wants solid foundations then Leno isn’t the ‘keeper for him.
Name: Joe Hart
Current Club: Torino (on loan from Manchester City)
Joe Hart was exiled by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City as the Catalan native wasted no time stamping his authority on the squad. The former Barcelona manager wanted a ball playing goalkeeper and Hart didn’t tick the boxes.
The 29-year-old has put in a string of impressive performances for Torino in Serie A and looks like he has developed as a ‘keeper since his arrival in Italy. He’s been linked with a move to Liverpool for months now and Express Sport believe he’s a target for both Klopp and Antonio Conte at Chelsea. However, they believe Manchester City won’t sell to a top four rival.
It’s a bizarre link in general. Loris Karius reportedly topped the list of Liverpool transfer targets due to his proactive approach and his ability with the ball at his feet. To then turn to Hart would be a complete reversal of what they wanted in a ‘keeper just 12 months prior.
Name: Kasper Schmeichel
Current Club: Leicester City
Kasper Schmeichel is a summer target for Liverpool. Sources close to the Premier League winner revealed this exclusively to Football Whispers back in December.
The 30-year-old is having a forgettable season with Leicester City as the Foxes are in the very real position of going from champions to Championship in the space of a season.
— Football Whispers (@FB_WHISPERS) December 20, 2016
They are just a point off of the relegation places as things stand and have won just one of their last 10 league matches. If the rut continues then relegation looks like a real possibility and it’s unlikely the Dane will stick around.
The club already have a ready made replacement in Ron-Robert Zieler and could be forced to cash in on the player if he wants to remain in the Premier League. He has a contract until 2021 so Claudio Ranieri and the Leicester board could demand a minimum of £20million for their number one.
Name: Samir Handanovic
Current Club: Inter Milan
According to Corriere dello Sport, Liverpool are one of the clubs interested in Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic. The 32 year old Slovenian is considered to be one of the best underrated shot stoppers in Europe and is annually tipped with a move away from the San Siro.
He wouldn’t be the stereotypical FSG signing but the defence is an area you can’t really gamble on. Liverpool have fallen short over recent years because of a rocky defence and perhaps now is the time to buy consistency.
He could be the perfect stop-gap if the club want to stick with Karius but at the same time want to give him time to adapt to the Premier League. Having to battle Handanovic for a start would, in theory at least, improve the German.
Recent reports have added further fuel to the fire by claiming Inter have contacted Paris Saint-Germain over their unwanted goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu. The Italian is on loan at Osasuna after the conquerors of Barcelona opted to have Alphonse Areola and Kevin Trapp fight for the number one jersey at the Parc des Princes.
It’s looks more than likely that a new ‘keeper will be arriving on Merseyside this summer. Whether he’s a starter or a back-up will depend on what Karius does between now and the end of the season. Will Klopp stick or twist?