LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, May 15, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool would seek Caoimhin Kelleher buy-back clause as interest mounts

Though Jurgen Klopp insists Caoimhin Kelleher will not be sold, the goalkeeper’s ambition to be a No. 1 may see a buy-back clause agreed.

Speaking last week, the Liverpool manager stressed that he expects his goalkeeping stable to remain for the new campaign.

“I honestly can’t see Caoimh leaving,” he said, while also revealing Adrian is likely to stay.

“It must be an extraordinary offer for me to start thinking [of selling him].”

Klopp is consistent in his stance, however, that if a player informs him of their desire to leave, a move could be brokered – and he has explicitly said this in the past when it comes to his No. 2.

The hope is that Kelleher will remain at Liverpool, but the Irishman is attracting interest from Tottenham, Brentford and Brighton along with, according to The Athletic, clubs across Europe.

Andy Jones of The Athletic has claimed the 24-year-old would “jump at the opportunity” to become first choice elsewhere, while suggesting an interesting solution.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, November 9, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Derby County FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When discussing Kelleher’s future and the chances of a move away this summer, Jones reported that Liverpool “would likely explore the option of inserting a buy-back clause into any transfer.”

In short, a buy-back clause can be negotiated with another club to allow the selling club the option of re-signing a player for a set fee in the future.

Liverpool have used this on several occasions in the past, most notably when selling Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith to Bournemouth in 2016.

However, as with Rhian Brewster, who joined Sheffield United in a deal worth £23.5 million in 2020, those clauses were never activated.

The situation around Kelleher is more realistic, though, with a buy-back clause allowing him to establish himself at another club before potentially returning to Anfield as a long-term replacement for Alisson.

Another option would be to perennially loan him out, though this could be seen as far from ideal as it would require the player to settle at a new club every year.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 22, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. Manchester City won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“If a player is on loan it’s different. It’s like going on holiday,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo after Ibe and Smith’s transfers.

“You can always go home. That’s difficult for these guys as they are always between clubs.

“Now Smith and Ibe are [at Bournemouth] and we have buy-back clauses. Hopefully they do really well and then in the end we and them will decide.

“The goodbyes were OK with both of them. Liverpool is still in their hearts so we will have a chance [to re-sign them] if they do well.”

Whether any buying club would agree to a buy-back clause for Kelleher is questionable, of course, particularly when it comes to the likes of Tottenham.

Brentford and Brighton may be more agreeable, given their recruitment policy, though the fee set would need to reflect Kelleher’s potential – and may even be variable.