The Reds have a number of shot-stoppers on their books, but all have very specified roles right now.
Alisson is the established No. 1, while Belgian Mignolet was his cover last term and would need replacing if, as expected, he moves on in search of first-team action. Mignolet was a big part of the squad last year in terms of his support and professionalism, but has barely played a first-team game in a year-and-a-half now.
Loris Karius is halfway through a two-year loan deal and the Reds are unlikely to bring him back into the fold now, even as a second choice, so will remain in Turkey with Besiktas for 2019/20 unless another team wants to pay a big fee.
That leaves younger duo Caoimhin Kelleher and Kamil Grabara; the former was Jurgen Klopp‘s No. 3 last term, while Polish ‘keeper Grabara went out on loan—and that seems the probable arrangement for the coming campaign, too.
The Reds were linked with a move for McCarthy last year—although that was suggested at the time as a move for an alternative first choice, with interest in Jan Oblak and Alisson proving problematic at the time.
One year later and Alisson has had one of the best campaigns by a Liverpool goalkeeper in recent memory, winning the Champions League, Golden Gloves award and letting in fewest goals in the top flight.
It’s all about finding cover for him this summer—and while interest in McCarthy may remain, the role is now very different.
That, of course, might not be what all goalkeepers want, a season of effectively watching on, but McCarthy’s own situation changed over the last year, too.
He started off as Saints’ first choice, playing 25 of their first 26 games of the campaign, but lost his place to Angus Gunn for the latter stage of the campaign after Southampton‘s managerial change.
A rise in club stature, then, but not necessarily in his own playing time, might yet appeal to the 29-year-old who would be in a position of enormous responsibility were injury or suspension to sideline Alisson.
Additionally, he’d arguably be in a better position to add medals to his cabinet, as the Reds will be expected to compete on all fronts and he’d likely see game time in the domestic cups.
As yet, the Mirror‘s report on Liverpool’s interest in McCarthy is not backed up by any local press and contains no mention of a potential fee.
But Saints will have to offload at least one goalkeeper this summer, with former England squad member Fraser Forster still on their books, too.
McCarthy himself has one England cap, while against Liverpool he has played six times, keeping one clean sheet. He has yet to win against the Reds, drawing one and losing five, while conceding 11.