Liverpool consider handing contract to Alex Manninger

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Football News

Liverpool fans were led to believe that Jurgen Klopp would be making grand and sweeping changes to the squad over the course of the summer with big names expected to arrive from across Europe.

To some extent, that has been true. Sadio Mane represents Liverpool's third biggest transfer of all time at £30million while much is expected of Bundesliga product Joel Matip. But one player no Liverpool fan was expecting is Alex Manninger.

There is a good chance many reading this have not heard of the 39-year-old goalkeeper and there is also a chance that many of you were not born when he made his last Premier League appearance all of 18 years ago.


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The veteran shot-stopper is without a club after leaving Augsburg at the end of the last campaign and it would have been to the surprise of no one to see him hang up his well-worn gloves. He may have been considering it himself until Klopp came calling.

According to a host of sources, the German coach, who is just ten years older than Manninger, has invited him to train at Melwood and is ready to consider offering him a one-year deal. He would be the third-choice behind Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius with Adam Bogdan expected to take a hike.

But Liverpool fans are still expressing some concern at Klopp for even thinking about signing up a man who has hardly been impressive in the Bundesliga. Indeed, according to WhoScored, Manninger has the second-worst shot-saving percentage in the league over the last three years.

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His history

Manninger, a 33-time Austria international, was hailed as the next David Seaman when he originally joined Arsenal in 1997. In fact, at one point he was the only thing the Gunners could talk about.

During the 1997/98 season, he covered for the injured Englishman and kept six successive clean sheets, a joint club record. He would win the Premier League Player of the Month that March and form part of the side that won a league and cup double.


But he never quite held onto the No.1 spot and left Highbury in 2002. He would enjoy spells at Espanyol, Torino, Bologna, Red Bull Salzburg and even Juventus, where he picked up a Serie A medal in 2012.

He has never played more than 100 times for any one club and managed just 34 in four seasons at Augsburg. 

Should he sign for Liverpool, only the worst of injury crises will see him emerge on the pitch but his extensive experience of hanging around the training ground and on the substitute's bench is obviously something Klopp admires.

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Steven Gerrard
Premier League
Jamie Carragher
Daniel Sturridge
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