With Loris Karius having departed and Simon Mignolet unhappy about staying at the club as backup, some have speculated that Liverpool could as yet sell the Belgian and head into the autumn with Kamil Grabara and Caoimhin Kelleher as depth options.
This will not be allowed to happen according to The Guardian’s Andy Hunter, who says that Liverpool are detemined not to head into the season with a pair of teenage goalkeeping prospects the only options should starter Alisson be injured or suspended.
It’s hardly surprising news, despite that it might not be news Mignolet or his agent would like to hear given the 30-year-old has said he finds it “bizarre” that the club was willing to send Karius out on loan after previously refusing the same for him.
The difference, of course, is Karius’ Besiktas loan contains a purchase option Liverpool believe will be triggered—and Besiktas were willing to include it because they see in Karius a player five years younger with upside if he can get his career back on track.
Karius’ move starts as a loan, but it likely ends in a permanent deal, while a straight loan for Mignolet would simply have allowed him to run a year off his Liverpool contract—and had Mignolet been willing to take a pay cut, he might well not be here now.
Fulham were previously rumoured to be very interested in signing Mignolet, but Liverpool’s £12M valuation of the player and Mignolet’s wages scared off the newly promoted sides. Napoli were also interested before deciding Mignolet represented poor value.
It may seem harsh, but it’s likely Mignolet could have had the move he wanted this summer to one of Fulham or Napoli had the goalkeeper been willing to take a pay cut rather than expecting Liverpool to subsidise his move via a cut-rate departure.
He chose not to, and it’s not Liverpool’s responsibility to let him go on the cheap if the club are content with keeping him around as a backup option. Which means that, for now at least, Mignolet is stuck at Anfield as number two behind Alisson.
In January, when Liverpool would be able to bring in a senior depth option to replace him, that could change. For now, though, he won’t be leaving.