Liverpool have been linked with a surprise move for Derby goalkeeper David Marshall, but there are clear signs that any deal for the 36-year-old would be unlikely.
The Reds have just five days remaining of the summer transfer window, with the deadline set for 11pm on August 31.
So far, centre-back Ibrahima Konate is the only player to have been brought in, despite interest in a host of midfielders and attackers in recent months.
It could be that the window closes to leave Konate as the sole first-team addition – with 16-year-old Bobby Clark a new face at academy level – and question marks over the depth of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad.
However, the Mail‘s Danny Gallagher has mentioned interest in 36-year-old Derby stopper Marshall, claiming that “lingering concerns remain in the goalkeeping department.”
This was met with bemusement by Liverpool supporters on social media, set to the backdrop of speculation of Man City pursuing Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe seeking a move away from PSG:
What is a David Marshall from Derby County? This is how far we've fallen?
— Nick?? (@lfcnickk) August 26, 2021
— Husam? (@DonHusam6) August 26, 2021
Anfield when David Marshall wins us the treble!
? David Marshall! ?
— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) August 26, 2021
There is, of course, a trend of top-level Premier League clubs signing veteran goalkeepers from the Football League, with Scott Carson at City, John Ruddy at Wolves, Darren Randolph at West Ham and Asmir Begovic at Everton.
Typically, this is partly designed to fill a homegrown slot in the squad, with eight players required to be registered in order for the full allocation of 17 non-homegrown players to be named.
Carson is third choice at City, with Ederson firmly in place as No. 1, but he remains invaluable as he allows Pep Guardiola to choose from a host of overseas talent.
But Liverpool’s rumoured pursuit of Marshall would not solve this problem, as the goalkeeper came through the academy ranks at Celtic, with Scottish clubs not factoring towards homegrown status.
Andy Robertson, for example, is classed as a non-homegrown player, with Marshall then simply arriving – hypothetically – to either take up another of the 17 spots or, even less likely, not be registered at all.
That seems highly unfeasible, with Marcelo Pitaluga and, as it stands, Loris Karius in place as emergency options within the squad.
For what it’s worth, here‘s what Derby manager Wayne Rooney had to say on the matter: “That is the first I have heard of it, I haven’t heard anything on David Marshall leaving the club.”
Marshall has dropped down to third choice at Pride Park, however, with Rooney admitting that a transfer could be agreed to secure him the game time he desires.
“If that is something that is realistic, then it is something we will look at because what I also want to do is make sure David Marshall will get his playing time,” he added.
“Whether that is elsewhere or not, we will have to see what the options are. There has been no approach for him, that I know of.”
Nevertheless, it seems highly unlikely Marshall will be moving to Anfield!