Heading into the January transfer window, it seemed half the rumours surrounding Liverpool involved goalkeepers. With Simon Mignolet in poor form and recently relegated to the bench, it was easy to understand why. Since then, though, Mignolet has been in the form of his career and has become an unexpected frontrunner to win the Premier League’s Golden Gloves this season.
All of which would seem to make Liverpool’s need for a new shot stopper rather less than it was a few months ago. Not so, claims Stefano Castagna, the agent for 25-year-old Brazilian ‘keeper Neto, who insists there is interest in his client from a number of clubs—including, specifically, Liverpool. Whether there’s any truth to his assertion is an entirely different question, but at the least it’s more than just another tabloid rumour.
"The only thing that is official is Neto will not be staying in Florence," Castagna told Italian media this week. "Since February, when it became possible to talk to other clubs, we’ve been evaluating offers that are interesting in England, Germany, and Spain in addition to Italy. One of those in England is Liverpool, and then there is a top Spanish club interested in him. Right nw, he has to make a careful decision for his career."
Early rumours in Italy had Neto going to Juventus when his contract expired, but with Gianluigi Buffon showing no intention of retiring, it’s a move that would see the Brazilian start off as second fiddle. Brazil manager Dunga has suggested Neto needs to become a starter now and should avoid Juventus, and one has to imagine it’s a top consideration for the player—one that may have Liverpool looking worse than they did a few months ago. Neto’s agent, though, insists playing time won’t be the only consideration.
"If you decide to join a top club then it’s obvious you’re competing with other good goalkeepers," added Castagna. "But if you join one of the top 10 clubs in Europe then it’s an opportunity you’ve obviously got to fight for."