Liverpool are interested in signing Roma goalkeeper Alisson, but the pricey Brazilian could still take a backseat to Loris Karius and Danny Ward.
The Reds have made considerable headway in the first weeks of the summer transfer window, signing Monaco midfielder Fabinho and agreeing a £52.8 million fee for Lyon’s Nabil Fekir.
With the imminent arrival of Naby Keita ensuring what is effectively a complete overhaul of Jurgen Klopp‘s midfield, priorities could then shift to other areas of the pitch.
One key position in focus is Liverpool’s No. 1, with Karius’ ruin in the Champions League final amplifying calls to sign Alisson.
The Brazilian produced an excellent season after taking over Wojciech Szczesny last summer, and along with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak is a hugely coveted talent on Merseyside.
But exorbitant asking prices for the duo, with Roma claimed to be demanding around £79 million for Alisson and Oblak’s release clause similarly high, the Reds’ plans could change.
According to the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe, Klopp “would still like a goalkeeper,” but Alisson‘s price tag “does not make it a certainty” he will make the move to Anfield.
Instead, Bascombe suggests the manager “may be more eager to allow Loris Karius to rehabilitate than many imagine.”
Meanwhile he could allow “Ward to push his first-team claims when he returns to pre-season training,” with the Reds set to reconvene at Melwood on July 2.
And mercifully, the Liverpool Echo add that there is no interest in Southampton‘s Alex McCarthy.
Liverpool are rumoured to have met with Alisson‘s representatives when Brazil took on Croatia at Anfield, with the 25-year-old keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win.
But with the Reds securing a bargain in signing Mohamed Salah from Roma for just £36.9 million last summer, it is no surprise the Serie A side would play hardball over their stopper.
The prospect of giving either Karius or Ward an opportunity to stake their claim as next season’s first choice likely won’t be a popular one among supporters.
However, it would be in line with Klopp’s reputation for keeping faith in his current crop whenever possible, as well as resolving to wait for his prime targets.
When talks to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton last summer fell through, Klopp instead opted to head into the season with Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren as his leading centre-backs.
Van Dijk eventually made the move to Merseyside in January, with Klopp’s patience paying off as the Dutchman transformed his defence.
If Alisson does prove to be unattainable this summer, it would not be out of the realms of fantasy to see Karius retain his place despite widespread criticism.