Saturday afternoon and evening has seen rumors of a start at Old Trafford for Brad Jones, who's featured very sparingly since arriving in August of 2010. He's featured primarily in cup competitions and when there were no other options available, and it's been clear that he's a firm number two rather than a player expected to compete for a starting spot with either Pepe Reina or Simon Mignolet.
So that he's rumored to be replacing Mignolet tomorrow in one of the league calendar's biggest fixtures speaks to how much the Belgian has struggled this season; sentiment is more severe than reality, but Mignolet's consistently failed to convince, and after starting his Liverpool tenure so brightly, it's been difficult to watch his struggles over the past few months. Whether or not Jones takes his place tomorrow, it seems clear that the club aren't tethered to Mignolet in the long term.
No surprise to have seen names linked in the past few weeks, with Timo Horn from FC Koln linked a few weeks ago and now Mattia Perin, Genoa's current number one and Italy's third-choice behind Gigi Buffon and Salvatore Sirigu, apparently approached with a view to a January move. The news comes from the 22-year-old's agent, who informed Italian television Friday evening that Liverpool "there has been contact."
What exactly "contact" means is anyone's guess, and it could be something that flames out just as soon as it appears. A deal for the Italian stopper would cost in the region of £12m, a sum which would set the club record for a goalkeeper, and would likely spell the end of Mignolet's Liverpool career. Hard to say whether or not he's worth that much at this point, so as always, we turn to YouTube for our answer.
The verdict: maybe yes?
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