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Loris Karius Reportedly Set to Join Liverpool

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The heavily-tattooed 22-year-old goalkeeper looks set to join Liverpool and fight Simon Mignolet for a place in the starting line-up.

You had me before hello.
You had me before hello.
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

A midfielder and central defender have already been signed as far back as January, but in the past few days, Liverpool have been strongly linked with a number of transfers. The Mario Götze and Piotr Zieliński moves have been rumoured for some time now, but the links with Loris Karius are relatively new in terms of their potency. He's German and a goalkeeper, making the rumours over the weekend unsurprising. It seems, though, that those transfer whispers were far more serious than initially thought.

There are a number of talented German goalkeepers, which should ensure that picking one from Ralf Fährmann, Bernd Leno, Loris Karius, Timo Horn, and Marc-André ter Stegen should provide Mignolet with competition and an extended break from first-team action. Jürgen Klopp is a legend at Mainz 05 and appears to have returned to his former club to find a new goalkeeper in Loris Karius The 22-year-old has a €10 million release clause, making any deal quite affordable and attractive for any potential buyer.

When Karius agreed fresh terms in January 2015, according to Kicker, the clause was inserted into his contract. The bi-weekly German sports magazine indicated that not only were terms agreed but Simon Mignolet would also be usurped. The Liverpool Echo, however, followed on from the news in Germany by stressing competition between the two goalkeepers. Either way, it appears that Liverpool are close to signing a new goalkeeper. Whether terms have been agreed (Kicker) or talks are ongoing (Echo) is immaterial as this should be an early summer transfer.

Karius is considered a generally cool and composed goalkeeper who specialises in stopping penalties, looking effortlessly handsome, producing a variety of highlight-reel saves, and kicking decently for a goalkeeper at his age. The Premier League might be a challenge in terms of his handling in the air, but that's to be expected. However, Karius has the third best save percentage (75.2%) in the Bundesliga behind Oliver Baumann (75.3%) and the mighty Manuel Neuer (81.6%) in a league with quite a number of fine custodians in goal.

Reports from Germany point to a deal of close £8 million unlike news of a £4.7 million deal emerging from England. Kicker is very reliable when it comes to transfers, so a deal to be at or around the release clause stipulated in Karius' contract is surely imminent. Although Mainz have a history of selling crucial players over the past decade and still competing, it makes no sense at all to sell Karius for less than his release clause when it would represent a modest investment for Liverpool. Karius has a contract until 2018 and hasn't caused any problems in the dressing room, ensuring there isn't a single reason for Mainz to want or expect anything less than €10 million.

Karius -- who turns 23 next month -- has made 91 league appearances (90 starts) in the Bundesliga for Mainz 05, speaks excellent English, and has experience at youth level with Manchester City. He has kept nine clean sheets to help his side finish fifth in the Bundesliga, capping an excellent season with Europa League qualification.