Anfield Edition understands Liverpool have identified Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, as a potential candidate to replace Simon Mignolet, although the €100m buy-out clause is a massive stumbling block.
Widely regarded as one of the best keepers in the world, signing Oblak would be a huge statement of intent from the club and would go a very long way to improving the spine of the team. Having kept 12 clean sheets in 19 league games and performed consistently well in the Champions League, Oblak would be an ideal signing and at still only 25-years-old. He has the potential to become even better under Klopp.
Even though Oblak is arguably the best potential signing available and would represent a major coup for Liverpool, the price tag makes any potential deal difficult.
Liverpool will attempt to negotiate a fee lower than the €100m buy-out clause. Atletico are well within their rights to accept nothing lower than the buy-out clause, which is arguably a fair price.
Mignolet is said to be unhappy with his current situation at the club, with Klopp confirming Karius is set to remain in goal for the rest of the season. He may look to secure an exit as soon as possible with the World Cup on the horizon and this may force Klopp to bring any summer plans forward.
In the circumstance that the Belgian does leave, the likeliest outcome however would see Karius promoted to permanent number one with Danny Ward as back-up.
If Oblak is unable to be secured, another possible target to replace Mignolet is Roma’s Alisson, who is valued at £50m by the Serie A club. The Brazilian number-one has been in unstoppable form for Roma this season, keeping 9 clean sheets in 19 matches, with an average of 3.83 saves per goal conceded.
Alisson is particularly lauded for his shot-stopping abilities and is talented with the ball at his feet and is seemingly the perfect goalkeeper for Klopp’s system. However, with the Reds having signed Salah in the summer from Roma for an initial fee of just £36.9m, they may be reluctant to let one of their prized assets go so cheaply this time around.
Liverpool are unlikely to sign a new keeper this January, although it isn’t something the club have ruled out.
With Mignolet having been far too inconsistent since his arrival and failing to truly show he can be a long-term number one, these next few months are the most important in Loris Karius’ career to show he has the potential to still succeed at Liverpool.