Although Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to comment on the situation in his post-match interview, Loris Karius’s absence from last night’s team sheet spoke volumes. The suspicion was that Liverpool, Karius, and Besiktas were in advanced talks about securing an exit for the much-maligned goalkeeper. This morning, those suspicions appear to be realized.
According to James Pearce of The Echo, the sides involved are working toward finalizing a loan deal with an obligation to buy and a sell-on clause for Karius. Moreover, the German is expected to sign a contract extension with Liverpool.
If conditions are met, Liverpool could recoup a fee of £9.5 million, or twice the amount he cost to bring in from Mainz. The loan will be for two years, for a fee of £2.25 million. The Turkish side would then need to pony up an additional £7.25 million if the specified criteria of number of appearances and European qualification are met. Additionally, Liverpool would be entitled to a 20% sell-on fee if the deal becomes permanent and Besiktas subsequently decide to move the keeper on.
Lastly, Liverpool are working toward securing a contract extension in case the two-year loan does not result in a permanent move away.
It is a complex deal with lots of ins and outs, but the management should be applauded for finding a solution to a tricky problem. When it was apparent that they could not get anyone to match their valuation for Mignolet, they moved Karius on instead. And they created a deal that enabled Karius to prove his worth, rebuild his career, and if all goes to plan, allows Liverpool to recoup a reasonable fee.
The upshot of all of this is that Simon Mignolet is once again Liverpool’s back-up goalkeeper.
“Klopp believes that Mignolet’s wealth of Premier League experience and his professionalism makes him the better candidate to be Alisson Becker’s understudy this season,” Pearce writes in The Echo about the boss’s decision.
It is a controversial choice, though we have seen Mignolet’s ability to come back into the side and put in a performance after being benched. Hopefully he won’t need to be called upon beyond occasional domestic cup ties.