Liverpool’s summer goalkeeper signing Loris Karius is set to line up between the sticks for the start of 2016/17.
The 23-year-old signed in a £4.7 million deal in May, and took up the No. 1 shirt vacated by Brad Jones in 2014.
Karius arrives on Merseyside with considerable first-team experience despite his relatively young age, and his standing with former club Mainz suggested he would line up for Germany at this summer’s Olympics.
But with his focus on club matters following a move to Anfield, Karius has confirmed he and new manager Jurgen Klopp have decided against his involvement in Brazil.
“I spoke with the manager and we said that it doesn’t make sense for me to go to the Olympics as I would miss the first two league games of the season and of course I want to play in them,” Karius explained.
“We agreed together I wouldn’t be going [to Rio de Janeiro].
“First I spoke with Jurgen and then together we spoke with the German people who wanted me to go.
“The priority is the club. It’s more important that I am available for the start of the season.”
Karius’ words suggest he is in line that start the season as Klopp’s first-choice goalkeeper, and wearing the gloves for the first half of both of Liverpool’s pre-season clashes so far, this seems likely.
Last season’s regular, Simon Mignolet, is currently on holiday after his involvement at Euro 2016, and Karius said he is relishing the challenge posed by the Belgian.
“Of course I know that a club like this has more competition,” he continued.
“It’s a bigger club and better players means more competition. I am not scared or anything.
“If I was, I wouldn’t have come here. I have a good feeling.
“I wouldn’t come here just to sit on the bench. That doesn’t make sense for me.
“I’m not a keeper who hasn’t shown his ability. I know I am a good goalkeeper and I’ve shown that a lot. I could have stayed at Mainz and played there.
“If I wasn’t sure I could come and play here this season, I wouldn’t have done it.”
With Mignolet not due back to pre-season training until July 23, just before the Reds set off for their tour of the US, Karius has time to cement himself as Klopp’s No. 1.
Having sacrificed an important international opportunity with Germany this summer, Karius is clearly in Klopp’s thoughts for the trip to Arsenal on August 13.