Celtic could make a move for deputy Reds goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher in the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Ireland international is believed to be a long-term target for Celtic boss Brendan Rogers.
This is according to The Mirror, who claim that Kelleher would be sanctioned a move if Liverpool’s valuation of £20million is met.
The 25-year-old has grown to become amongst the most recognizable ‘Number 2’s’ in the world, but will always be behind Alisson Becker in the pecking order.
Kelleher is getting to the age where he needs to be playing regular football at club level, as his Ireland career is being impact by his status as back-up goalkeeper.
In recent months, under manager Stephen Kenny (who has been dismissed now), Kelleher has found himself out of the starting eleven.
Southampton’s Gavin Bazunu has been preferred instead, even though he plies his trade in the Championship at present.
While it would be a shame to see Kelleher leave Anfield, it’s not the first time that reports have emerged suggesting the Ireland international could bid farewell to Merseyside.
Summer speculation over the future of Caoimhin Kelleher
There were some reports the previous summer transfer window that suggested the shot-stopper could be on his way out of Liverpool.
His continued overlooking in the Irish national team may be forcing Kelleher to look for pasture anew.
Jurgen Klopp spoke about his appreciation that the 25-year-old stayed, suggesting there was a legitimate chance he could leave:
“We had discussions in the summer, obviously, about it [Kelleher leaving].”
“But as long as we don’t have a solution, we cannot loan players.”
“He is homegrown and all these kinds of things.”
“So we have to make sure, first and foremost, the first responsibility is to do the best for Liverpool.”
“And then we have to see how we can sort it.”
“But now obviously, for him, it is a situation he did not want to have but obviously, somehow, he has because he wants opportunities.”
Jurgen Klopp’s potential replacement
It has been reported that the German has identified Sunderland shot-stopper Anthony Patterson as a replacement should Caoimhin Kelleher decide to call time on his Anfield career.
The 23-year-old has already made 100 appearances for Sunderland, and was a big part of the run to the Championship play-offs last term.
A dominant goalkeeper, Patterson ranks in the 89th percentile for crosses stopped and in the 81 percentile for penalty save % according to FBref [compared to positional peers in Men’s Next 14 Competitions].
There’s no doubt he is a talented ‘keeper, but Kelleher has been there and done it in the big games for Liverpool already.
If he does decide to leave in the summer, the Irishman will be sorely missed at Anfield.