Liverpool select top target to replace one of likeliest leavers as Klopp considers bargain bid

Dieumerci Mbokani, Amando Lapage, Bart Verbruggen and Alonzo Engwanda

Liverpool scouts have chosen who the main goalkeeper they should be moving for if they lose Caoimhin Kelleher in the summer is, according to a report.

Kelleher looks ready to take the next step in his career this summer after failing to usurp Alisson Becker as Liverpool’s number one. Of course, there is no shame in that and the Irishman could go on to enjoy a productive career elsehwere.

Jurgen Klopp rates Kelleher highly, but will have to acknowledge his wishes. In turn, Liverpool might need to find a new backup to Alisson.

It will be a difficult role for them to fill, because anyone who comes in will have to be patient for playing time, yet Klopp will still want someone reliable he can turn to when he needs to rotate.

And with that in mind, Liverpool have now been linked with a 20-year-old prospect whom they could develop in the long term.

According to The Sun, Liverpool’s scouts have recommended Anderlecht talent Bart Verbruggen as someone they should be bidding for. In fact, he is “at the top of their shopping list” in his particular category.

Verbruggen has earned eight league appearances for Anderlecht so far this season. They have all come consecutively since Boxing Day, showing how he has established himself as their new first-choice keeper.

A Netherlands youth international with a 6ft 4in frame, Verbruggen has kept clean sheets in half of those appearances to date, conceding eight goals in total across the other four.

In turn, Verbruggen could soon take the next step in his career. Although under contract with Anderlecht until 2025, he could be the subject of an offer from Liverpool in the summer.

Liverpool spot window of opportunity for goalkeeper signing

The report notes that his value is still affordable, but if he continues to enhance his reputation with regular gametime in Belgium, it could increase. Therefore, the timing could be right for Liverpool to make a move.

In the long term, Verbruggen might even be able to take over from Alisson, although that is a big claim for the report to make at this stage of his career.

After all, for now it is just a case of Liverpool finding someone to keep Alisson on his toes. The Brazilian remains under contract at Anfield until 2027 and isn’t ready to be replaced just yet.

But Kelleher is someone Liverpool will need to replace if he is sold after the end of the season. Where exactly he is going to end up is another matter that remains unclear, but he will want to be a number one somewhere.

In another world, he may have been able to do so for Liverpool. But Alisson was always going to be in his way, which means Kelleher should have to fulfil his potential elsewhere.

There will undoubtedly be several other goalkeeper links to keep track of in the event of Kelleher’s departure. But Verbruggen seems like someone worth keeping an eye on.

It contradicts recent claims that Liverpool might have to go for an English keeper to stick within homegrown quotas. Yet a club of their stature has to cover all bases in the transfer market. Therefore, they might be widening their radar.

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