In what would be one of the more bizarre transfers of the summer, Liverpool are reportedly considering offering former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger a contract at the club.
The 39-year-old has been training at Liverpool’s Melwood ground recently, and multiple sources today (including the Times and Echo) are reporting that Jürgen Klopp could be set to offer Manninger a short-term deal as third choice goalkeeper behind Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool will be having something of a clear-out of goalkeepers in the coming days. Ryan Fulton has already joined Chesterfield on loan, with Welsh international Danny Ward to join Huddersfield in a similar arrangement.
Ádám Bogdan, meanwhile, is surplus to requirements and free to find a new club.
To that end, Klopp would like to bring in an experienced goalkeeper to provide backup to Mignolet and Karius while Fulton and Ward gain first team experience elsewhere.
Should Manninger impress Klopp, he is likely to be handed a one year deal.
The former Austrian international has been without a club since leaving Bundesliga side Augsburg earlier in the summer. In a career that has spanned over two decades, Manninger has played for fifteen clubs (Liverpool would be his sixteenth).
He will be known to fans in England for being David Seaman’s backup in the early part of Arsene Wenger’s reign at Arsenal, playing a total of 30 Premier League games for the Gunners from 1997 to 2002.
Since leaving Arsenal, his career has mostly spent in Serie A. From 2008 to 2012 (his longest spell at one club since Arsenal), he acted as understudy for Gianluigi Buffon at Juventus.
In fact, being used as a stop-gap or reserve has been the case for much of Manninger’s career, and as third choice he is unlikely to see much (if any) action at Liverpool.
With Liverpool in pre-season in action against Fleetwood Town on Wednesday, Klopp is likely to use that match as a chance to see Manninger in action. If he likes what he sees, the goalkeeper will probably be signed not long after.