The future of Pepe Reina may be about as assured as Tom Cleverley being handed the Manchester United captain’s armband on a full-time basis, but that hasn’t stopped Brendan Rodgers from pursuing other goalkeeping options.
Simon Mignolet remains the Anfield No.1 for now but Spanish sources are claiming that the Reds have lodged an offer for Real Madrid stopper Diego Lopez. The Spaniard somewhat surprisingly ousted Iker Casillas from his starting berth with Los Blancos, and played virtually the entirety of last term as Carlo Ancelotti’s first-choice ‘keeper.
However recent reports have suggested the veteran coach is looking to get rid of both Lopez and Casillas this summer, and he has already brought in Costa Rican Keylor Navas to prove that he’s serious about ringing the changes.
It’s not all good news for Liverpool though, as both AC Milan and Napoli are said to have Lopez firmly in their sights. At the latter of those clubs he knows he would be practically guaranteed game-time, coincidentally as a replacement for Reina, who served their on loan last term, and so Rafael Benitez may have an advantage.
For Lopez, despite his past experience in claiming No.1 shirts when there's other players ahead of him in the pecking order, would have a difficult time in forcing Mignolet onto the bench. The Belgian ace wasn't at his brilliant best during last term's Premier League campaign, but he proved during his time at Sunderland that he can be impeccable on his day, and Rodgers is more than likely to give him the benefit of the doubt this season.
On top of that the Premier League has become notorious over the years for breaking 'keepers from the continent, and the Serie A might be the safer option in that regard.
However Lopez will surely try to stay and fight for his spot at the Bernabeu if he's given the option. The Spaniard was ever-present under Ancelotti in La Liga, and for Jose Mourinho before him, and so will have grown accustomed to being the main man in between the sticks. Though Casillas' future may have been decided by his poor showing at the World Cup, Lopez remains faultless to a point.
Other rumours today shed light on the idea that Ghana’s World Cup ace Andre Ayew is desperate for a move to Merseyside. The 24-year-old has been targeted by both United and Newcastle, but it’s said he will tell his club Marseille that he wants to become part of Rodgers’ Reds revolution.