Premier League • England

Reliable star ‘ready to leave’ Liverpool before his prime as Klopp fears increase despite busiest season

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool could finally lose Caoimhin Kelleher in 2024 after a report explained the goalkeeper’s ambitions to leave the club.

Kelleher has established himself as one of Liverpool’s most trusted backup players in his deputy tole to main keeper Alisson Becker, but there has been an acknowledgement for a while that he will be keen to prove himself as a no.1 at some point.

It has always been expected that that would be away from Anfield, especially with Alisson still being under contract until 2027.

A recent report explained how Jurgen Klopp was fearing Kelleher’s exit and starting to think of how Liverpool might replace him (leading to links with Anthony Patterson from Championship side Sunderland).

Now, an update from Football Insider has bluntly stated that Kelleher is indeed ‘ready to leave’ Liverpool – but he will have to wait until the summer.

Liverpool have ruled out selling the 25-year-old in January, which makes sense, since it would be challenging for a new keeper – even a backup one – to come in midway through the season.

But by the end of the season, the time could finally come for Kelleher to find a club where he can be a regular starter.

His destination might be somewhere like Celtic, where Brendan Rodgers is looking for a new no.1 to take over from Joe Hart.

Kelleher’s agents have six months to explore their options for the Republic of Ireland international in case Liverpool grant him his exit wish.

Liverpool have always believed highly in Kelleher’s ability as he has progressed through their academy, but the presence of one of the best goalkeepers in the world – if not the best – in their first team remains an obstacle for him.

Kelleher destiny lies away from Liverpool

If he is to experience the prime years of his career to the maximum, then, it seems inevitable that he will have to leave Liverpool.

The club’s asking price for a player under contract until 2026 remains to be seen, but given the high regard in which he is held, Liverpool should receive a decent windfall.

It will all go down as profit on the books too, since he is a product of their own youth setup.

Kelleher joined Liverpool as a 16-year-old from Ringmahon Rovers. He has since made 32 appearances at senior level for the club, who have never even loaned him out.

Last month, Klopp categorically ruled out Kelleher leaving the club in January.

“That is the next thing, we all want Caoimhin to make the next step,” the manager said.

“Some of us have heard rumours and stuff like that, like so we have to let him go and stuff like that. We just can’t.

“We need a solution for us and we are really happy with Caoimhin. But he performs for us on incredibly high levels. He is an exceptional goalkeeper.”

One day, another club might get to benefit from that. For now, Kelleher will have to be patient for his opportunities, although he is already enjoying the busiest season of his career to date with 11 appearances.

Liverpool being in the Europa League instead of the Champions League has benefitted him, for example, since Klopp would normally have stuck with Alisson for the higher-ranking UEFA tournament.

Goalkeepers often blossom and hit their peak later than outfield players, so Kelleher shouldn’t be panicking about his progress just yet.

Nevertheless, it would be reasonable for him to want to explore a future elsewhere, starting from next season.

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