Premier League • England

Liverpool reluctantly agree to let ‘world class’ star follow Klopp out, as Prem rival ready improved bid

Liverpool stars Caoimhin Kelleher and Mohamed Salah

A Liverpool star branded 'world class' can leave Anfield this summer

Liverpool will not stand in Caoimhin Kelleher’s way if he pushes to become a No 1 elsewhere this summer, and the goalkeeper is already courting interest from two European Cup winners.

Amid Alisson Becker’s injury woes, back-up stopper Kelleher has made more appearances for Liverpool this season than the Brazilian. Alisson’s return from injury against Crystal Palace last weekend was his 25th outing of the campaign. By contrast, Kelleher has featured 26 times.

The Republic of Ireland international has been nothing short of sensational for the Reds this term. Without the 25-year-old between the sticks Liverpool’s season may well have crumbled far sooner than it did over the past few weeks.

Kelleher’s displays have been to such a high standard that he was even branded ‘world class’ by Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk. Jurgen Klopp was also forthcoming with lofty praise.

“We have the best goalkeeper in the world, and we have the best number two in the world,” declared Klopp earlier in 2023.

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Van Dijk said: “I have always said [Kelleher] is world class and he stepped up today, again. It’s good to see.

“He’s a good boy, good goalkeeper and that’s what we need at a club like Liverpool.”

Kelleher is clearly good enough to be a starter at a Premier League side. But with Alisson in situ, he may never get that chance at Anfield.

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Liverpool won’t stifle Kelleher ambitions

Now aged 25, Kelleher is reaching a crossroads in his career. He’s entering his prime years and may feel the time is right to spread his wings and push to follow Klopp out.

Nottingham Forest tabled a £15m bid for Kelleher in the latter stages of the January window. Liverpool understandably rejected the offer, though per the Daily Mail, the outcome could be different this summer.

They state that in the event Kelleher asks to leave, Liverpool ‘would likely not stand in Kelleher’s way.’

The Reds would be adequately compensated if Kelleher does depart. Without naming an exact price, the report adds Kelleher’s valuation is ‘only going in one direction’ on the back of his stellar displays this year.

Scottish giants Celtic are a known admirer of Kelleher and are seeking a replacement for Joe Hart who’ll retire this summer.

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However, the type of fee Kelleher would command is likely beyond Celtic. Instead, the Mail suggest it could be Nottingham Forest where Kelleher winds up.

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo is understood to be a huge admirer of Kelleher and will implore his side to bid again for the Irishman. Of course, a big-money buy will hinge on Forest retaining their Premier League status.

With Liverpool softening their stance on a sale, Kelleher proving he’s a top class keeper and Forest ready to up the ante, a transfer looks there for the making.

It’s important to reaffirm any such move will only ignite if Kelleher pushes to leave. If he’s happy to remain as deputy to Alisson for one more year at least, Anfield is where he’ll stay.

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