Liverpool’s Pledge: Retaining Control Over Kelleher’s Future
As the summer transfer season intensifies, Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, maintains his faith in the current goalkeeping lineup. His focus? Caoimhin Kelleher. Amidst mounting speculations around his potential move, Klopp is certain he won’t let his number 2 goalkeeper go – unless there’s an irrefutable offer on the table.
Klopp’s Stand: “I can’t see Caoimh leaving”
Klopp’s consistent messaging around player retention remains the same – if a player expresses a desire to leave, a move could be arranged. He’s made no exceptions, not even for his reserve goalkeeper, Kelleher. As it stands, Klopp anticipates his goalkeeping team to hold their places for the upcoming Premier League season. His words resonate, “It must be an extraordinary offer for me to start thinking [of selling him].”
While the expectation is for Kelleher to continue at Liverpool, the lure of being a primary choice goalkeeper has garnered him interest from Tottenham, Brentford, and Brighton as well as clubs across Europe.
The Athletic’s Andy Jones hints at Kelleher’s probable course of action – he would likely “jump at the opportunity” to play as the first choice. Furthermore, Jones suggests an interesting solution to this predicament – exploring the possibility of a buy-back clause for any Kelleher transfer.
Buy-Back Clauses: Liverpool’s Tried-and-Tested Strategy
For those unfamiliar with the term, a buy-back clause allows the selling club to repurchase a player for a predetermined fee in the future. This tactic isn’t new to Liverpool; the club had previously implemented this during the sale of Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith to Bournemouth back in 2016. However, neither of these buy-back clauses were ever actioned. The closest comparison to Kelleher’s situation might be Rhian Brewster, who joined Sheffield United in a £23.5 million deal in 2020, but again the buy-back clause remained untouched.
The dynamics are different for Kelleher. With his ambitions of being a mainstay in a team, a buy-back clause could be the bridge that permits him to make a mark at another club, and then potentially return to Liverpool as Alisson’s successor. A recurring loan move could be another option, but Klopp views this as suboptimal. “If a player is on loan it’s different. It’s like going on holiday,” Klopp quips.
The feasibility of implementing a buy-back clause with any club interested in Kelleher remains debatable. Clubs like Tottenham may not favour this approach, while Brentford and Brighton may be more amenable, aligning with their recruitment strategy. The fee would inevitably have to echo Kelleher’s potential – with possible fluctuations.
As Liverpool and Kelleher gear up for a significant decision, the fans wait with bated breath to see what the future holds for their backup goalkeeper. Will he remain at Anfield or head out in search of more consistent playing time? Only time will tell.