LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 8, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Loris Karius linked with worst-ranked club in Europe’s top five leagues

With Loris Karius set to leave Liverpool on a free transfer in January, a new club has been linked in SpVgg Greuther Furth, the lowest-ranked club in Europe’s top leagues.

Karius returned to Merseyside in the summer, after a muted loan spell with Union Berlin, and failed to secure a move away from the club he joined in 2016.

Swiss side Basel were among the sides interested, but a switch to St Jakob-Park did not come to fruition as they were unable to meet the goalkeeper’s wage demands.

He has stayed with Liverpool for the first half of the season, then, and having recovered from a shoulder injury is now training with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad on a daily basis.

The German is currently filling in for the injured Adrian, working alongside Alisson, Caoimhin Kelleher, Marcelo Pitaluga and Harvey Davies in a five-man goalkeeping group.

But it has already been reported that Liverpool will allow Karius to leave on a free transfer next month – half a season before his contract expires – to cut his salary from their wage bill.

Basel have already been tipped with a renewed pursuit, but German publication kicker has now linked Bundesliga side SpVgg Greuther Furth with a move.

No club across Europe’s top five leagues – the Premier League, the Bundesliga, LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1 – have picked up fewer points than SpVgg at this stage, with the newly promoted side taking four points from 15 games.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 6, 2021: Liverpool's Joel Matip (L) and goalkeeper Loris Karius during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 6 game between AC Milan and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Their first win of the campaign came on Sunday, with a 1-0 victory over Union Berlin, which was their first three points in the top flight since May 2013 – the end of their first-ever season in the Bundesliga.

Prior to that game, however, SpVgg lost first-choice goalkeeper Marius Funk in a likely season-ending knee injury, with Sky Germany quoting sporting director Rachid Azzouzi as admitting the club “has to worry.”

Both Funk and his replacement, Sascha Burchert, are out of contract at the end of the season, with Karius presented as an immediate option to come in.

Loris Karius is undoubtedly a very, very good goalkeeper,” manager Stefan Leitl said, “but I do not participate in names or speculation.”

Leitl added: “The fact is that due to Marius’ injury, we naturally exchange ideas and also look around to see if we still want to do something in the goalkeeping position.”

It remains to be seen whether Karius will emerge as a genuine option for SpVgg, or if the club could offer him the terms he desires, but Liverpool will almost certainly encourage him to leave.