One of the storylines of Liverpool's season has been the resurrection of Simon Mignolet's career as the club's number one goalkeeper. After starting well, the Belgian's form dropped off the table along with the rest of the squad through the fall and winter, culminating in the high-profile dropping at Old Trafford. It had become clear that Mignolet's time on Merseyside was likely nearing an end, with Brad Jones replacing him and Brendan Rodgers asserting that the career backup would be in the starting eleven indefinitely.
Indefinitely came just a few weeks later, when Jones was injured at Burnley and Mignolet was restored early in the 1-0 win. After a few nervy moments on the day, Mignolet had a now-famous conversation with his fiancee, which he counted as the turning point for what's become a campaign in which he is the frontrunner to win the Golden Gloves. He's saved Liverpool countless points since reclaiming the number one spot, and has played a pivotal role in helping them advance to the semifinals of the FA Cup.
But as nice the story is--and in this season, it probably counts as the nicest--there's still speculation about his future, and given that there is essentially no challenge for his status as number one, that's probably a good thing. Jones seems to be a wonderfully nice man but isn't any sort of actual "competition," which has been the buzzword at Liverpool for years.
Enter Rui Patricio, who's first choice for Sporting CP and Portugal, and, at 27 years old, in the prime of his goalkeeping career. Liverpool are supposedly set to make some sort of offer with a view to a move this summer, one the player is rumored to be keen on.
Liverpool are serious about Rui Patrício. The Sporting keeper will be observed to see if he fits quality wise/socially at Anfield. [O Jogo]— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) April 11, 2015
Sporting want at least €15m for Rui Patrício, but that hasn't scared Liverpool away. Was linked with Arsenal/LFC a few years back. [O Jogo]— Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) April 11, 2015
That's not a huge sum of money for a player who would challenge for a starting spot immediately, but there would be some discussion about the need for another goalkeeper in his late twenties rather than one who's still building his career; if Mignolet continues his progress he should be the number one, and if anyone's going to be backing him up--as good as Rui Patricio may or may not be--it might make more sense for Liverpool to target a goalkeeper who's in the developing stages of his career.