Liverpool appear to have been given a clear run at signing Alex McCarthy from Southampton after Arsenal reportedly decided to pursue alternative options.
According to a report on Sunday, the Reds and the Gunners were plotting a summer raid on Southampton for the 28-year-old keeper, whose form this season has stood out despite Saints’ struggles to avoid the drop.
The fact that Liverpool have been watching McCarthy will leave Saints supporters with a feel of “not again!” with the Reds having raided St Mary’s for Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Rickie Lambert in recent seasons.
And it seems they will be unopposed in moving for McCarthy, with sources telling TEAMtalk the Gunners have no interest in the star and are instead working solely on a deal to sign £22million-rated Bayer Leverkusen stopper Bernd Leno.
We understand talks between Arsenal director of football Sven Mislintat and the player’s agent are already well down the line and a deal could be struck soon.
That will effectively give Jurgen Klopp a free run at McCarthy if he decides to pursue the deal, though Liverpool, of course, have Roma star Alisson as their preferred target this summer.
Saints will likely fight tooth and nail to rebuff any Liverpool approach for their No 1, who has kept Fraser Forster on the sidelines this season and it would take a bid in excess of £30million for them to even consider his sale.
And discussing a need to change their transfer policy, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said: “Something fundamentally needs to change at the club. They can’t keep losing their top players and expect not to struggle.
“If they want to avoid the same (scenario) next season, they need to take a firmer stance.”
McCarthy joined Saints for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £2.5million, from Crystal Palace in the summer of 2016.
He currently has just one year left on his contract at St Mary’s.
Want news and features on the Reds on your Facebook timeline? Like our dedicated Liverpool page.