Loris Karius‘ problematic first season on loan at Besiktas has been flagged by manager Senol Gunes, casting doubt over the Liverpool stopper’s future.
Karius joined the Turkish Super Lig side on a two-year deal in August, with his move becoming permanent for £7.25 million in the summer if he meets various performance and appearance-based criteria.
While he is starting regularly for Besiktas, missing just one league game through injury since he arrived, their fortunes on the pitch mean this is not yet guaranteed.
Gunes’ side need to qualify for European competition for this clause to be activated, and judging by the 66-year-old’s comments after Sunday’s 3-2 win over Konyaspor, he may be hoping his No. 1 doesn’t stay beyond the summer.
“He was at fault for the goals he conceded,” Gunes told reporters, with Karius booed by his own fans after letting in Omer Ali Sahiner’s first-half equaliser.
“Karius has gone a bit stagnant, something is wrong with his electricity, motivation, enthusiasm for the game.
“It has been like that since the beginning. He does not really feel a part of the team.
“It’s something we haven’t been able to work out and, of course, I am partly to blame for this.”
The manager added that Karius has only kept his place due to the exclusion of veteran goalkeeper Tolga Zengin, with the plan to stick with the Reds’ loanee for the remainder of the campaign.
“Something is wrong, he has also been unlucky. [He] is talented but it hasn’t worked out and we have a problem,” Gunes explained.
“Let me put it this way, if I still had Tolga available I would play him.”
This is a damning indictment of Karius’ time in Istanbul so far, and perhaps more worryingly, a possible insight into his mentality since his downfall at Liverpool.
High-profile errors while suffering with concussion during the Champions League final in May saw the German effectively cost the Reds victory, though any blame should be tempered by his head injury.
Karius was left to rebuild, and Besiktas was clearly not the right club to so, leaving him in a difficult situation in the summer.
Frankfurt have been touted with a move if he becomes available, and returning to the Bundesliga may be the ideal solution.