Friday 15 December 2017

Karius gets No 1 shirt in £4.7m Reds switch

Goalkeeper Loris Karius has joined Liverpool
Goalkeeper Loris Karius has joined Liverpool

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool have announced the signing of goalkeeper Loris Karius for £4.7m from German club Mainz.

He will wear the No 1 jersey at Anfield having signed a five-year deal. The shirt number has been available since Brad Jones' departure a year ago, and it is a sign of Karius' confidence he requested - and was granted - the jersey upon the completion of his medical on Merseyside.

Karius will certainly offer competition to Simon Mignolet, although his shirt number is no guarantee he will immediately assume senior status.

Before Jones, another reserve Diego Cavalieri wore the jersey. Indeed, it is 11 years since Liverpool's first choice goalkeeper - then Jerzy Dudek - wore the No 1 shirt.

Karius said: "It's a very good feeling and it's an honour to play for a club like this."

With Karius signed, Liverpool will look to offload Adam Bogdan, who has endured a torrid season after joining from Bolton a year ago.

Youngster Danny Ward - currently with the Wales squad - is Liverpool's third choice but is expected to join Huddersfield on loan.

One player who could be on his way out of Anfield is Jordon Ibe, with the club prepared to listen to offers for the winger. Watford, Bournemouth and Southampton are all considering a move for the England U-21 star, who has struggling for first-team football.

Ibe began last season in the first team and it was hoped it would be a breakthrough campaign for him, with many predicting he would fill the void left by Raheem Sterling.

Instead, he toiled and could not impress himself on new manager Jurgen Klopp when he was given opportunities. Klopp is exploring other wide options to add to his squad this summer, and the lack of European football will make it tough for the 20-year-old to start games next season.

Mamadou Sakho's fate for failing a drugs ban will be heard by UEFA tomorrow. Sakho will offer mitigation having taken slimming pills which contained a prohibited substance, but he is sure to be given a lengthy suspension.

Liverpool have confirmed they will face Barcelona at Wembley on August 6 in a pre-season friendly. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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