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Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Swoop for ter Stegen

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Liverpool need a goalkeeper. Marc-Andre ter Steggen has struggled at Barcelona. Put the two together and you get a rumour that’s never going to happen but was always going to be floated.

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Liverpool need a goalkeeper and linking Liverpool to players out of favour at Barcelona is standard practice for the rumour mongers come transfer season, so perhaps the only surprise is how long it’s taken somebody to link the Reds with a move for Marc-Andre ter Stegen. It’s not actually going to happen, of course, but that’s never stopped a transfer rumour taking off before.

In theory at least it’s not a completely impossible rumour. Barcelona’s transfer ban isn’t actually a ban on making transfers—it’s a ban on registering new players. That means they can still sell a player if they want, though why they would want to when they can’t then sign and register a replacement is a rather obvious issue and why the Catalan club making any deals while the ban is in place is highly unlikely.

As for the player, the 22-year-old ter Stegen has struggled since signing for Barcelona from Borussia Monchengladbach last summer for a bargain €12M fee. He arrived the brightest young German shot stopper and was meant to replace Victor Valdes, but following his arrival the club also signed Chilean number one Claudio Bravo, who has held a firm lock on the starting role for Luis Enrique’s Barcelona this season.

Bravo is 31 years of age right now and so ter Stegen does have youth on his side, but the German didn’t move to Barcelona to wait for two or three years before taking on the number one role. He moved in order to be Barcelona’s starter now. That things haven’t so far gone as he—and likely when they signed him the club—would have expected is clear, and that does a move for him superficially plausible.

Or at least it would if he’d been at Barcelona for longer than six months. And it would if Barcelona were in a position to sign a replacement to back up Bravo. And it would if Liverpool had showed any signs whatsoever that they were in the mood to make signings this January, particularly one for a player who despite his struggles would cost more today than six months ago when he only had a year left on his contract.