Three goalkeepers Liverpool could sign to replace Simon Mignolet
Kieran Beckles takes a look at three goalkeepers Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could sign in the January transfer window
One of Liverpool’s greatest goalkeepers Bruce Grobbelaar hasn’t held back in his analysis of Simon Mignolet over the past number of years. The Zimbabwean once joked that Dracula comes out of his box more than the Belgium international. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Reds legend revealed earlier this week that he was asked by the club to stop criticising Mignolet so publicly. So it is unlikely we’ll be hearing any Grobbelaar sound bites on Mignolet’s latest blunder. The Liverpool shot stopper was penalised for holding onto the ball in his area for too long on Thursday night, conceding the free-kick which led to Bordeaux’s goal. The error will only add fuel to speculation manager Jurgen Klopp will sign a goalkeeper from the Bundesliga in January. Bayer Leverkusen shot stopper Bernd Leno is thought to be top of his Christmas wish list. The 23-year-old has been Leverkusen’s first-choice goalkeeper for four seasons, whilst he was recently called up to Joachim Low’s Germany squad for the first time. Leno has superb reflexes and has a reputation for being one of the Bundesliga’s finest shot stoppers, particularly from close range. The Leverkusen man has kept seven clean sheets in all competitions this season, too. Leno’s current deal is set to expire in 2018 and the goalkeeper has a contract release clause reported to be in the region of £13m.
No, this isn’t the Tottenham Hotspur number one, Hugo Lloris. Unsurprisingly considering his links to Mainz, Klopp has been linked with a January move for Loris Karius. Like Leno, the Mainz shot stopper is one for the future, aged 22. He previously played for Manchester City reserves before he moved to the Bundesliga side in 2011. He has started all 13 of Mainz’s German top-flight games this season, keeping a credible three clean sheets. Karius made an impressive three saves to secure a goalless draw in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Cologne. His distribution is another plus points, something which will keep Grobbelaar happy considering Mignolet’s ineptitude with the ball at his feet. Liverpool would face Premier League competition for the goalkeeper’s signature, though. Aston Villa are thought to be keen on the former Citizens shot stopper.
Samir Handanovic has regularly been linked with a move to the Premier League over the past 12 months, with the shot stopper’s agent regularly fuelling the transfer speculation. The Inter Milan goalkeeper has helped Roberto Mancini’s side secure the best defensive record in Serie A this season – the Nerazzurri have only conceded seven goals in 13 Serie A games. The Slovenia international has unsurprisingly kept more clean sheets than Leno and Karius – Handanovic has nine shutouts to his name. However, mother time could be against the Inter shot stopper, who is aged 31. That is considerably older than his German counterparts, who would offer a long-term solution to Klopp’s goalkeeper conundrum. However, the Slovenian hasn’t put pen to paper on a new deal with Inter, which means Liverpool could sign the goalkeeper on a free transfer next summer if Klopp was prepared to stick with Mignolet until the end of the season.