LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 3, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool open Caoimhin Kelleher contract talks after taking first-team place

Liverpool have begun talks over a new deal for Caoimhin Kelleher, with the Irishman expected to cement himself as long-term cover for first-choice goalkeeper Alisson.

Kelleher has made major progress since joining the Reds from Ringmahon Rangers in 2015, working his way up through the academy ranks and honing his ability.

Until recently, the 22-year-old had set his sights on heading out on loan – having been denied a short-term switch to the Eredivisie in 2019 due to an injury to Alisson – but now he has broken into Jurgen Klopp‘s senior squad.

Now ahead of Adrian in the pecking order, Kelleher has made five appearances so far this season and been on the bench for a further 19 games, impressing in consecutive starts against Ajax, Wolves and Midtjylland in December.

This summer will see the stopper enter the final year of his contract with Liverpool, and the Irish Examiner report that talks have now begun over an extension.

The young goalkeeper is described as being “considered central to Klopp’s long-term plans,” with his rise effectively spelling the end of Adrian‘s time on Merseyside, as the 34-year-old is set for his release at the end of the season.

It is likely that Kelleher will be eager to commit his future to the Reds, perhaps with an eye on challenging Alisson for the starting spot in years to come.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 1, 2020: Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp hugs goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher after the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

A popular figure among Liverpool’s coaching staff, the Republic of Ireland international has settled in well within the first-team squad, benefiting while the likes of Kamil Grabara and Vitezslav Jaros head out on loan instead.

Kelleher’s contract is among the biggest priorities for the Reds at present, with Adrian, Gini Wijnaldum and Nat Phillips the only players to see their contracts run out at the end of the current campaign.

James Milner‘s deal is due to expire in 2022, as is Ben Woodburn‘s, with the rest of Klopp’s senior squad in a comfortable position in terms of their ties to the club.

It would be no surprise to see Kelleher put pen to paper in the coming months, then, with it a major positive for Liverpool if he does so.