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Transfer Targets: Should Liverpool Go For Neto?

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Fiorentina's Brazilian goalkeeper is out of contract at the end of the season and has been banished from the team. Liverpool are believed to be interested, so should they make a move for him?

Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

No matter your thoughts on Liverpool's squad and potential signing needs, everyone can agree on one thing: Liverpool need a goalkeeper. Or two. Or, heck, why not three just for kicks and giggles? Trouble is, getting goalkeepers who are good enough to play first-team football for Liverpool is hard, especially in January. Clubs don't want to let competent goalkeepers go, and if they are, it's never cheap. Except, everyone once in awhile, something weird happens and the chance to make a move comes up.

Enter Fiorentina and Brazilian goalkeeper Neto, who until recently was largely impressing for the Italian side despite La Viola's wildly inconsistent form this season. The "until recently" comes in to play because of this: Neto's contract is up at the end of the season, and after negotiations for an extension broke down, Neto publicly declared his intent to leave the club once his contract expires. Fiorentina did not react well and have essentially banished Neto from the club, replacing him with the far-inferior Ciprian Tatarusanu.

That's left Neto seemingly available for a song, and several clubs have been reported to be interested, including Liverpool and Juventus. The 25 year old Brazilian is regarded as a very good shot stopper, and has been showing steady improvement as a distributor and in commanding his area on crosses and set pieces. He's still not an elite goalkeeper by any means, but Neto certainly has the potential to become one if his development continues as it has the past couple of years.

Liverpool would have to move quickly, though. Juventus apparently see Neto as a potential heir to Gianluigi Buffon and are pushing to acquire him, with some reports indicating that they may have a verbal agreement on a contract already. Liverpool can offer him more playing time in the short-term however, and given his wages at Fiorentina - believed to be well under £30,000 per week - they can offer Neto a healthy raise as well.

But the question remains: should Liverpool actually go after Neto?

On a current talent perspective, Neto doesn't offer a significant upgrade over Simon Mignolet at his best, if he does at all. Compared to the current version of Mignolet, with his confidence seemingly still on the rocks despite a couple decent performances recently, Neto offers Liverpool a lot more surety and potential from the position. If nothing else, he's a significant upgrade as a backup when compared to Brad Jones, who needs replacing as his contract is also expiring come the end of the season.

Add in the financial aspect of a deal - low wages and a transfer fee likely to be pennies on the dollar compared to Neto's actual value - and the answer to the above question is an easy, no-hesitation "yes." Neto might not be the ideal, long-term goalkeeper for Liverpool's future, but he has a chance to become that guy and even if he doesn't, he'll make it a lot easier for the club to get by until they find "that" player.

Making a transfer deal for Neto would be a low-risk, high-reward-potential move, and you don't get many chances at those in football. Liverpool absolutely should do everything they can to make this happen.