Two summers ago, Liverpool took advantage of Emre Can’s £10M release clause to capture the young German midfielder from Bayer Leverkusen. It was one of their best bargains in the transfer market in recent years. Given transfer inflation, there’s a case it could end up their biggest transfer steal ever.
Or it looked as though it could have until today. Today, it’s being widely reported by journalists with ties to the club, including the Express’ Paul Joyce, that Liverpool will trigger Loris Karius’ £4.7M release clause in order to steal the young German goalkeeper away from FSV Mainz, where he started 36 games this season.
It seems there’s just something about young German talent and low release clauses, at least by the standards of English football, though Mainz will still make a healthy profit on the goalkeeper, who they signed from English club Manchester City on a free transfer in January of 2012, 30 months after he arrived in England.
That the move came in January rather than at the end of the season means Karius won’t be eligible to register as a homegrown player in England. For that to have happened, he would have had to spent three full seasons—36 months—registered with City before he turned 21. He meets the age requirement, but not duration.
Regardless of that, the now 22-year-old is a quality goalkeeper, one who likely beats out Simon Mignolet for the starting role. Right now, though, it is a close run thing, and it’s not impossible to imagine Mignolet sticking it out for one season to compete for starting minutes. Longer than that, though, one will have to leave.