Having been given a chance to prove he deserves to be Liverpool’s long-term answer in goal, Simon Mignolet has been found wanting and replaced with Loris Karius, who will now get his own chance to stake a claim to the number one job.
Now, according to the Belgian press, he’s looking for a way out, and Napoli have stepped up as a potential summer landing spot with the Serie A side set to lose Pepe Reina—another former Liverpool goalkeeper—when his contract runs down.
News in recent weeks has had Reina eager to join up with old boss Rafa Benitez at Newcastle and Napoli not keen to pay the sort of wages it would take to keep him around beyond the current season, and so they will need a new number one.
Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad think that will be Mignolet and that they would pay around €20M for his services. It seems a steep fee at first, perhaps, but then steep fees and inflation are the nature of football, and a few years ago that would be €8-10M.
It would seem a good move for Mignolet, if it’s true Napoli are interested. And if they are, perhaps there would be some motivation on all sides—from Newcastle to Liverpool to the players themselves—to move the deals up to this month.
Mignolet, after all, has already signalled he’s worried about his World Cup place, while Newcastle could use help to ensure they’re still in the Premier League next season, and if Mignolet doesn’t have a future at Anfield the club might as well sell now.
That even being a possibility, though, would depend on Napoli seeing Mignolet as their answer in goal and being interested in paying a decent transfer feee to bring him in. Hopefully, for the player’s sake if nothing else, they are.