It has been revealed that Loris Karius twice turned down a move from Liverpool to Basel this summer, due to problems agreeing personal terms with the Swiss club.
Karius garnered surprise as deadline day passed without finalising his Anfield exit, having spent pre-season with the first team effectively as fourth or fifth choice.
The German failed to secure a switch before August 31, and further deadlines in Russia (September 7) and Turkey (September 8) passed without a suggestion of interest from either top flight.
While there is still a chance of a transfer to Serbia or Mexico, for example, with their windows still open, that seems very unlikely.
Instead, Karius is due to spend at least the next three-and-a-half months with Liverpool – though, as it stands, he is back in Berlin recovering from a shoulder injury.
That the club were willing to allow Karius to return to Germany to nurse an ongoing problem proves his standing under Jurgen Klopp – with all avenues explored throughout the summer to find him a new club.
According to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, Basel were among the sides hoping to land a deal for the 28-year-old, only for his wage demands to see any move fall through.
In short, Karius would have been required to take a pay cut to join the 20-time Swiss Super League champions, which saw both permanent and loan bids unsuccessful.
The player will see his contract with Liverpool expire next summer, and if he does not agree to a move away in the January transfer will simply spend his final months earning a lucrative wage with no chance of playing.
That is Karius’ prerogative, of course, with the club giving him an extension prior to sanctioning a two-year loan at Bestikas in 2018.
But it certainly asks questions of his ambition, with German journalist Christoph Biermann pointing to his existing salary as a roadblock for many of the sides who would be interested.
“He doesn’t really get talked about in Germany. If he hadn’t played in a Champions League final, it would be a very ordinary story in the world of football,” Biermann told The Athletic.
“It’s sad what’s happened to him. I feel for him. He’s a very decent goalkeeper, just not a top one – not one for Liverpool.
“But there should be a lot of clubs around who would be happy to have him. One of the problems is that he earns so much money.”