Liverpool were fully occupied with trying to offload Loris Karius on transfer deadline day, according to a report, but were unable to find a buyer.
Karius has been a Liverpool player since 2016, when they signed him from Mainz. He spent two seasons as their first choice goalkeeper, but it ended in tears when his errors led to them losing the 2018 Champions League final. He has not played for the club since.
Liverpool lent him to Besiktas for two seasons following that infamous calamity, before he spent last season with Union Berlin. However, his return to his native Germany was not particularly successful; he made just five appearances in all competitions.
Karius was thus back with Liverpool for pre-season training, although he did not play in any of their friendlies.
Alisson Becker is firmly established as Liverpool’s first-choice keeper – and will be for years to come after signing a contract extension this summer. In addition, Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian are back-up options.
With just one year left on his contract, this could have been Liverpool’s last chance to cut their losses on Karius. As a result, the Daily Telegraph reported that the club spent all of deadline day trying to get rid of him.
The outlet claimed Karius may want to be paid off to agree an exit. Liverpool would not agree to such terms, so he should be consigned to the sidelines until 2022.
Karius can sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January onwards. In doing so, he would remain a Liverpool player for the rest of his contract before leaving for free.
Although he wasn’t a particularly expensive signing, it would still be a blow for a Liverpool side who would have preferred to cash in while they still could.
Back in June, Karius admitted that his future was fluid.
“You should never exclude anything,” he told German publication Bild. “Last year I was gone and I would have been in the Liverpool goal two weeks later due to injuries in the goalkeeping position.
“But I don’t always want to be dependent on such factors. You don’t want your colleagues to do that either. I keep all options open and will make the right decision for myself.”
As things stand, it seems he won’t be putting on the gloves for a while yet.
Elsewhere on deadline day, Liverpool loaned out Rhys Williams to Swansea City, but they performed a U-turn with fellow defender Nat Phillips by awarding him a contract extension. Meanwhile, Sheyi Ojo also left on another loan deal.
Perhaps most significantly, captain Jordan Henderson committed his future to the club with a long-term contract.
Pundit predicts big 2022 for Liverpool
Liverpool’s only summer signing was defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig. They secured that deal right at the start of the window.
Many felt Liverpool needed another attacker, or perhaps a midfielder to replace the departed Georginio Wijnaldum. But no additional signings arrived at Anfield.
Still, ex-Reds defender Jamie Carragher thinks they will be very active in the market next year.
Carragher told Sky Sports: “I’d like to see Liverpool bring an attacking player in. I think we are a little bit short in that area.
“I think Liverpool have some of the best players in the world and I think Mo Salah will be the next one [in terms of contracts]. The club won’t be spending heavily in the market. The money this summer has been on renewing contracts.
“And in years gone by, when I was playing for the club, a lot of the time when we had players of that quality, they would be going to Real Madrid or Barcelona. We lost so many players over the years.
“But I think the club this year will not be spending heavily in the transfer market. They have brought Konate in for £36m and they have certainly recouped that in terms of sales as well.
“And I think the money and expenditure in this pre-season was going to be spent on new contracts and making sure those players stay for the rest of their career at Liverpool Football Club.
“I think Liverpool will be looking to attack the market more next summer. This summer was about renewing contracts which does cost money.
“I know there is a frustration among supporters that Liverpool are not getting involved in the transfer market when you look at what Chelsea and Manchester United have done. A lot of the money Liverpool were going to spend has been spent on wages.
“I’m not worried about it; that’s the basic model. Liverpool’s owners don’t have the revenue of Manchester City, Roman Abramovich, nor do they bring in as much money as Manchester United do.
“So, Liverpool have had a model since FSG have come in and it’s worked spectacularly. They’re seen as one of the best operators in the transfer market and how they go about their business.”