Premier League • England

Liverpool get green light to sign angered ex-Man Utd star who’ll push cult favourite out and solve looming second issue

Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler

Liverpool are free to act on their interest and negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a former Man Utd star whose arrival would spark a mini-overhaul in a key position, per reports.

Following Liverpool’s immaculately-timed swoop for Cody Gakpo, all eyes are on who Jurgen Klopp targets to solve his midfield issues. However, while the engine room is clearly the club’s biggest weakness at present, other areas of Klopp’s squad will soon require attention.

Goalkeeper is one, with the options behind Alisson Becker expected to thin in the near future.

Caoimhín Kelleher is the current No 2 and has never put a foot wrong when called upon in the cups. However, the Ireland international, 24, clearly requires a move away if he’s ever to become a first-team regular and calls are growing for Kelleher to force his way out.

Furthermore, third-choice stopper, Adrian, is out of contract at season’s end. The Spanish veteran will forever be fondly remembered for his heroics in a penalty shoot-out against Chelsea soon after joining the club.

Adrian was labelled “incredible” by Klopp after saving Tammy Abraham’s match-deciding spot-kick in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup. The victory saw an emotional Adrian lift the first trophy of his career.

With both he and Kelleher facing uncertain futures, German publication Bild reported in November Liverpool were mulling a move for Ron-Robert Zieler.

The six-times capped Germany international currently plies his trade for Hannover, though isn’t too pleased with his current employers.

Liverpool target miffed at Hannover treatment

The 33-year-old is out of contract in six months’ time and per the latest from Bild (via HITC), believes his performances have warranted a long-term extension.

Hannover see the situation differently and are instead content to wait for Zieler’s one-year extension to be triggered. The clause will be activated automatically once Zieler reaches the 25-appearance mark this season. He’s currently on 17.

In any case, Zieler is now free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs having hit the final six months of his deal.

Per Bild, Klopp is ‘keen’ to do just that and because Zieler is a former Man Utd player, he’ll count on the homegrown quota.

Man Utd association another boost for Klopp

Zieler was on United’s books between 2005-10 and the fact he never made a single appearance for the club won’t affect his homegrown status.

He has briefly played Premier League football before having featured nine times in a one-year spell with Leicester in the 2016-17 campaign.

However, the bulk of his career has been spent in Germany where by and large, he’s been a dependable performer.

Despite initially hoping for a long-term extension at Hannover, it’s claimed the fact he’s not been offered one has opened his eyes to a potential exit. In other words, he feels underappreciated and will entertain proposals to move away.

If Liverpool were to swoop for Zieler, it stands to reason Adrian would not be offered an extension when the current campaign concludes.

Furthermore, it would ensure the Reds will already have a capable No 2 in place in the event Kelleher decides his future lays elsewhere.

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