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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, October 26, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Toulouse FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Caoimhin Kelleher confirms he wants to be a No. 1 – “At Liverpool or somewhere else”

Caoimhin Kelleher expects to hold talks with Liverpool over the summer as he aims to establish himself as a No. 1, accepting that may come “somewhere else.”

The season just gone was a breakthrough for Kelleher, who filled in exceptionally during a lengthy injury to first-choice goalkeeper Alisson.

Kelleher made 26 appearances – more than in the previous four campaigns combined – including 10 starts in the Premier League that saw him go unbeaten in every outing.

That gave the Irishman a taste for life as a regular starter, and now three years after leapfrogging Adrian into the role of second choice, he is ready to make the “next step.”

Speaking to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, he admitted it would be “silly” to expect to overtake Alisson as Liverpool’s No. 1 – which may lead him “somewhere else” this summer.

SINGAPORE - Sunday, July 30, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is substituted for goalkeeper Alisson Becker during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It would be great if that happened at Liverpool, but I’m not silly. I know that Ali has been the best goalkeeper in the world for years,” Kelleher said.

“I’ve had such an amazing time at Liverpool. It’s been a crazy journey for me and one that I’ve absolutely loved.

“I love the club, I love the fans and I have a great relationship with the players and the staff.

“Whether it’s here at Liverpool or somewhere else, I do feel the next step for me is to be a No. 1.”

While Kelleher spoke in the past tense about his “amazing time” at Anfield, during his interview with Pearce there remained a sense that he would await talks before making any decision over leaving.

“There will be some discussions over the coming weeks,” he continued, having held similar conversations over his future with Jurgen Klopp last summer.

“The club was busy with the manager leaving and appointing a new one. With all the new staff arriving, those talks will happen.”

As with any player, Kelleher will wait to hear of Arne Slot‘s plans before finalising his own, particularly with looming interest in Alisson from Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps there could be a chance for the 25-year-old to take that next step at Liverpool, if Alisson opts to follow the likes of Roberto Firmino and Fabinho to the Middle East, though there will be a clamour for the Brazilian to stay.

“I’m proud of this season, I’ve really proved myself,” Kelleher concluded.

“I love being at Liverpool and hopefully there’s more to come there. But I feel like I’ve done my years as a No. 2.

“The ambition now is to be a No. 1. I am ready and capable.”