Loris Karius‘ uncertain future could be resolved with a return to Germany, with the Liverpool goalkeeper linked with a realistic switch to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.
The 26-year-old is currently in the final months of a two-season loan with Besiktas, with the Turkish side not likely to trigger their £7.25 million purchase option.
This would leave him to return to Merseyside upon on the campaign’s end, where he would face a difficult battle for a place in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad were he to stay for next term.
Karius is unlikely to be short of suitors despite his damaged reputation, with Anderlecht, Sporting CP and West Ham among those linked with a player who has shown the capability of operating as No. 1 in a competitive side.
Perhaps the most feasible option at this stage is Hertha, with German outlet Sport 1 claiming the Bundesliga club are exploring the possibility of a deal.
Goalkeeping coach Zsolt Petry is said to have tracked Karius for a “long time,” while sporting director Michael Preetz tried to sign him from Mainz back in 2015.
The stopper is said to find the prospect of a return to Germany “attractive,” with Sport 1 noting how his girlfriend lives in Berlin and has been travelling between there and Istanbul regularly.
It would likely be a low-cost deal for Hertha, who already have a strong relationship with Liverpool due to their dealings over Marko Grujic in the past two years.
And Karius would find a clear route to the first team in Berlin, with 35-year-old Rune Jarstein having recently lost his place to Thomas Kraft, who himself is set to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Karius added fuel to the fire on Thursday as he shared a highlights video of his 2015/16 campaign with Mainz on Instagram:
It served a reminder of his obvious talent, with the then-22-year-old voted the second-best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga in his final season before joining Liverpool for £4.7 million.
Allowing Karius to return to Germany could provide him with the opportunity to regain the confidence lost after the Champions League final in Kyiv in 2018.
Hertha will head into the new season with a new manager, with ex-Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac among those linked with the job, and establishing a new first-choice ‘keeper in Karius could be their next step towards stability.