By Fabrizio Romano and Andy Hunter/The Guardian
Liverpool have opened talks with Roma over the possible world record signing of the Brazil goalkeeper Alisson, with an initial offer of €70mn (£62.2m) including €10mn of add-ons being lodged with the Serie A club.
Roma are holding out for another €5mn to take the total fee to €75mn (£66.6mn) for the 25-year-old but both clubs are hopeful that an agreement can be reached. The respective valuations has increased confidence at Liverpool that the 25-year-old will be their new first choice goalkeeper next season.
Chelsea are also still interested in the Brazilian, should Thibaut Courtois leave. Real Madrid, another possible suitor, have yet to make contact with Roma. Liverpool signed Mohamed Salah from Roma last season but despite the good relationship the clubs enjoy the Italian club would not hesitate to sell Alisson to any other club that matches their valuation.
If the deal goes through it would make Alisson the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, eclipsing the €53mn paid by Juventus for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001 and the €40mn it cost Manchester City to buy Ederson from Benfica last summer.
Alisson has long been Jurgen Klopp’s preferred solution for the problematic goalkeeping position at Liverpool, with the manager’s interest pre-dating Loris Karius’ calamitous performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Liverpool had been deterred from pursing that interest at the start of the summer by Roma’s asking price. Tentative inquiries in January were also dismissed. On-going concerns over Karius’ form, however, plus the prospect of a compromise with the Italian club, has prompted a renewed effort to land Klopp’s first choice.
The German goalkeeper ended last season as Liverpool’s number one having dislodged Simon Mignolet, who is expected to leave Anfield this summer. The 25-year-old initially made an encouraging return to the side but his two dreadful errors in the Champions League final undermined his first choice claims and he made another mistake in last week’s pre-season friendly at Tranmere Rovers.
Klopp publicly defended Karius after the Tranmere game but knows the scrutiny on the former Mainz keeper will not diminish next season. The Liverpool manager has also considered Danny Ward during pre-season but is edging closer to addressing a long-standing issue at Anfield with the bid for Alisson.
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