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Liverpool are reportedly one of a trio of clubs keen to sign Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen this summer.
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Sport Witness), the Reds, Napoli and Atletico Madrid all hold an interest in the Netherlands international, who is behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the pecking order at the Camp Nou this term.
Mundo Deportivo said the three teams in question have all made an initial approach to Barca about the stopper, with Liverpool said to have provided Cillessen with a “project” to consider.
Liverpool have used two different goalkeepers this season, with Simon Mignolet beginning the campaign as Jurgen Klopp’s first choice. However, Loris Karius has taken over the gloves in recent months and has impressed for the team as they’ve progressed into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Cillessen moved to Barcelona in 2016 to provide support for Ter Stegen. Minutes in the first team have been scarce as a result.
This season, the Dutchman has been limited to six appearances in the Copa del Rey and one in the UEFA Champions League. Given he’s now 28 and should be in the peak years of his career, Cillessen will surely be keen to get on the pitch much more consistently.
As noted by WhoScored.com, when he has been in the XI for the Netherlands recently, the Barcelona man has impressed:
.@JasperCillessen: Man of the Match vs Portugal – Rating 8.31, Saves 6, Clearances 2, Cross Claims 1 @KNVB
Full player ratings: https://t.co/IfsVjTYGtn https://t.co/d4U3feaOCi
Whether Liverpool need a new goalkeeper will be up for debate among supporters following the recent improved form of Karius.
The German arrived at Anfield in 2016 with a big reputation, although he struggled to show his best when used by Klopp last season. In the end, Mignolet appeared to be a safer pair of hands, and it wasn’t surprising when the Belgian was the top choice to begin 2017-18.
Karius was given a chance midway through the season, and since then he’s been brilliant for the Reds. His shot-stopping has improved significantly, while the German is also strong off his line and is becoming more comfortable under the high ball.
Dominic King of the Daily Mail believes the 24-year-old can still get better, but his recent upturn is encouraging:
Dominic King @DominicKing_DM
A word on Loris Karius. Still think there is improvement (last week in 1st half at Palace showed that) to be made but he’s a different keeper to this time 12 months ago. Looks far more composed now
At the moment, it’s debatable whether Cillessen would represent a definite upgrade on the Liverpool goalkeeper. The Dutchman does have more experience and is a capable stopper; still, Karius definitely has the potential to become at least as good as the Oranje star.
Most elite sides have two excellent goalkeepers in their squad now, and with that in mind, perhaps Klopp wants serious competition for Karius next season. However, having been on the fringes for two seasons at Barcelona, Cillessen would surely prefer to move somewhere where he will be playing every week.