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Rumor Mongering: Liverpool Shopping For Italian Goods

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Buy all the goalkeepers.

Italy Training Session Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius have both had a bit of an up and down season between the sticks for Liverpool Football Club. Neither has established himself as an indisputably preferred option in goal, and though the presence of real competition has appeared to elicit a little bit more out of Mignolet, manager Jürgen Klopp still has to worry about which goalkeeper is less likely to commit a fatal error on any given matchday.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the position, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the transfer market whispers have included rumors of Liverpool searching for yet another option in goal. Joe Hart, currently in exiled in Italy by Manchester City, has been named more than once as a potential Liverpool target. On other occasions, Inter Milan’s Samir Handanovic has also been linked, though the Italian club seems loath to part with one of the more consistent keepers in their league.

The latest portiere to be linked with Liverpool once again plies his trade in Italy, though he represents a very different proposition compared to Hart and Handanovic. This time, it’s 19-year-old Alex Meret, currently under contract with Udinese but on loan this season with Serie B outfit S.P.A.L. 2013. According to reports, Meret’s performances for S.P.A.L. have caught the eyes not only of Udinese - who see Meret as competition for Orestis Karnezis, perhaps sooner rather than later - but also of clubs in England, including Manchester City and Liverpool.

S.P.A.L. are something of a surprise team in Serie B this season. Having only won promotion to Serie B last year, after having endured a string of financial crises, S.P.A.L. are now among a handful of three clubs fighting for automatic promotion to Serie A. Like a couple of the other clubs pushing for the same objective, S.P.A.L. don’t feature many standouts in their starting XI, but have been getting the job done primarily by keeping the ball out of their own net, and young Meret has been a key part of that equation.

Important though he may be for that particular equation, it still doesn’t necessarily add up that Liverpool would be in pursuit. Karius is already the clear near-future option, even if his introduction to the Premier League hasn’t been without growing pains. If Meret is indeed brought in, he would almost certainly be a prospect requiring no small amount of seasoning before he’s anywhere near the first team picture. Considering also that Udinese don’t have a strong incentive to offload a promising young player, this is a rumor that is likely to remain nothing more than that for now.