Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Back in for Ochoa

Michael Steele

Fresh off a personal best performance against Brazil, Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa has been suddenly linked once again with a move to Liverpool.

Eighteen months ago, long before Simon Mignolet won the hearts and minds of Liverpool fans with a fantastic penalty save on his debut, goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa's name popped up ever so briefly in the January transfer rumour highlights. Ochoa himself claimed a month later that Liverpool had made an inquiry into acquiring his services, but with Pepe Reina looking committed to the club and Ochoa undoubtedly looking to be a starter, the story fizzled out fairly quickly.

Hot on the back of a blistering performance against Brazil in which Ochoa held the World Cup hosts scoreless in a 0-0 draw versus Mexico, Liverpool have apparently rekindled their interest in the keeper once again. Ochoa's six saves were the most saves by a Mexican keeper in the World Cup since 1966, and by the player's own admission in a post-match interview, it was the best game of his career.

It's a performance that could not have come at a better time for the Mexican. After his Ligue 1 club Ajaccio was relegated at the end of the season, Ochoa bid adieu to the club and has not yet signed with anyone new. At twenty-eight years old, he's certainly in prime position to serve as someone's number one and if the Liverpool rumour is anything to go by, he's turned a few heads, including Arsenal's.

"My priority is to stay in France, but I am open to any propositions," Ochoa said. "I have improved in the last three years, most notably in handling the pace of games. But I was used to top competition when I played in Mexico. I now need to play in the Champions League to be sure of my level."

Liverpool's starting position between the sticks seems fairly locked down by Mignolet, but with Pepe Reina's future up in the air for the better part of the last year and many wishing the club had a keeper more talented than Brad Jones as further back-up, Ochoa-to-Liverpool could be an interesting option pending the resolution of Reina's future.

Even if Liverpool are still legitimately interested in Ochoa long after they've already signed a new keeper — and that's a big if — the question remains as to whether Ochoa would be content to challenge Mignolet for the starting position and risk being kept on the bench or if he'd rather be the knocked on starter somewhere in France. It's likely little will come of this on Liverpool's end, but if Ochoa keeps up his form he should have some serious new suitors by the end of the World Cup. After all, who wouldn't want to sign the Mexican Jesus?

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