Liverpool target £20m Sunderland man as first Richard Hughes signing to replace star Klopp adores

New Liverpool sporting director Richard Hughes is keen to sign Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson

New Liverpool sporting director Richard Hughes is keen to sign Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson

Incoming new Liverpool sporting director Richard Hughes has reportedly earmarked Sunderland star Anthony Patterson as an ideal first signing – and the talented goalkeeper could become the first new arrival of the Ruben Amorim era amid claims a popular Reds man is set to quit this summer.

The Merseysiders are preparing for what will be a summer of major changes at Anfield, with the clock now very much ticking down on Klopp’s wonderful near-nine year stint at the helm. With around six weeks left before he waves farewell, Liverpool hope to bid the legendary boss goodbye with at least one more cup added to his seven-trophy haul with the Reds still very in the Premier League title race and also installed as favourires to win the Europa League.

And with TEAMtalk sources revealing a deal is closing in on the appointment of Amorim as his successor, a change of manager won’t be the only major change at Anfield this summer.

Indeed, the Reds are also ready to welcome in Hughes as the replacement for Jorg Schamdtke as sporting director with his appointment already agreed and with the Scot set to leave his current position with Bournemouth once the current campaign draws to a close.

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The 44-year-old Glaswegian will be put in charge of overseeing Liverpool’s summer recruitment and, working alongside new CEO of football Michael Edwards, will help shape identity and ultimately sign a number of big-money targets.

Top of his agenda is likely to be a top new centre-half, with Joel Matip likely to leave at the end of his contract. The Reds may also be in for a replacement for Mo Salah, amid ongoing speculation of a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia.

Hughes may need to replace Klopp favourite at Anfield

However, there are also reports that Liverpool’s hugely-popular No 2, Caoimhin Kelleher, could also depart Anfield this summer.

The Irishman has stepped in admirably in recent weeks as a replacement for the injured Alisson Becker, proving himself arguably one of, it not the best deputy goalkeeper the Premier League has to offer. Here, this list ranks the Premier League’s best No 2’s with Kelleher, quite rightly, ranking extremely high.

Despite his excellent displays, all at Liverpool know that Alisson remains the undisputed No 1 – and the Brazil international will reclaim the gloves the very moment he is fit to resume duties.

And once again, that will leave Kelleher kicking his heels on the sidelines, with reports now suggesting he will push to depart Anfield as a result.

Indeed, the 25-year-old came close to quitting Anfield last summer amid links to the likes of West Ham and Tottenham. Ultimately, Liverpool’s £20m valuation dissuaded his suitors from making a move, with Klopp  – a huge admirer of the player – also convincing him to stay.

However, there is a growing speculation that Kelleher could depart this summer and reports of a move to Celtic, who are looking for a new goalkeeper with Joe Hart due to retire.

The Hoops would love to get their hands on Kelleher as his replacement, though Liverpool’s valuation is way beyond their financial means and such a deal remains a problem.

Nonetheless, interest in the 12-times capped Ireland international is likely to be high and he will explore opportunities to leave Anfield this summer.

Liverpool want Sunderland star to replace Kelleher

Per the latest reports, Hughes has been casting his eyes on would-be replacements for Kelleher and Alisson’s number two and it seems they have settled on Sunderland star Patterson as their perfect choice.

The England Under-21 international is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers outside the Premier League, having made 119 appearances for the Black Cats since his debut in the 2020/21 season.

One of the first names on the Sunderland teamsheet, the 23-year-old is reknown as a both a great shot-stopper and a good commander of his area, drawing comparisons to another former keeper in Jordan Pickford.

Rated at around the £20m mark, it’s claimed Hughes has recommended Patterson as the ideal replacement for Kelleher if the Irishman leaves and a man who could one day even succeed Alisson in the Reds’ goal.

His talents have also been endorsed by the Wearsiders’ former boss Tony Mowbray, who has told Sunderland Nation exactly why Patterson has the qualities to reach the very top.

“He has got a personality that is good for a goalkeeper. He’s not up bouncing around all of the time. He’s calm, assured and relaxes the back line. He does his job,” Mowbray said.

“He wants to learn. As his confidence grows, he has got a huge future in front of him.”

Mowbray said of the 23-year-old previously: “Listen, he’s a top goalkeeper.

“I’ve been in football more than 40 years and this kid is a very talented boy who has an amazing temperament.

“Nothing fazes him, he’s very calm about everything, he’s not bouncing all over the place and losing the plot.

“He’s a very calm goalie who makes great saves.”

Patterson will be in action on Tuesday evening as Sunderland make the trip to Elland Road to take on promotion-chasing Leeds United.

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