Marseille ‘tracking’ Simon Mignolet as summer Rui Patricio alternative

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Ligue 1 side Marseille are rumoured to be considering a move for Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet ahead of the summer transfer window.

Les Phoceens have had their sights set on Sporting CP stopper Rui Patricio as they plot to replace current first choice Yohann Pele, who turns 35 later this year.

But with Watford and Arsenal among the clubs also linked with the Portugal international, Marseille have been forced to identify alternatives.

According to French outlet Sport.fr, this has seen Mignolet emerge as a likely target, serving as an interesting prospect for the Belgian.

Marseille sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is said to have been alerted as to Mignolet’s possible availability at the end of the season.

And with Jurgen Klopp having moved to sign Loris Karius last summer, initially installing him as his new No. 1, this could well be the case.

Karius was demoted back to the role of second choice in December, but it seems certain he will take the gloves again at some stage, while Danny Ward could return from loan as further competition.

If this leaves Mignolet at odds once again, a move to the Stade Velodrome would be a positive one for the 29-year-old.

It must noted, however, that Mignolet is not believed to be the only name Marseille’s list, while the credibility of the source is unclear.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 25, 2017: Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius in action against Southampton during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mignolet has been an admirable servant to the Reds since his £9 million move to Merseyside in 2013, and he is a likeable player of considerable stature.

But while he is a proven, top-level shot-stopper, his spell with the Reds has been dogged by a worrying inconsistency, while there are clear flaws to his game.

The signing of Karius seemed to show Klopp acknowledging this, with the former Mainz custodian a more progressive, front-footed goalkeeper attuned to operating in a high line.

Karius’ dropping to the substitutes’ bench towards the end of 2016 saw Klopp remove his compatriot from the firing line, following a series of high-profile errors and public scrutiny.

It would be a bizarre move for Klopp to have decided against Karius as his long-term No. 1 so swiftly, and a return should come in 2017/18.

If Karius is reinstated, few would begrudge Mignolet looking to move on in search of regular first-team football, as he is worthy of a starting role in a competitive side.

And Ward, who has been in excellent form on loan with Huddersfield Town this season, seems in a better position to serve as Karius’ deputy.

Klopp is likely to oversee big changes at Anfield once again this summer, and this could well see Mignolet move on to pastures new.

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