Liverpool Transfer News: Samir Handanovic Contract Update, Gelson Martin Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 28, 2017

VERONA, ITALY - OCTOBER 30:  Samir Handanovic of FC Internazionale looks on before the Serie A match between Hellas Verona FC and FC Internazionale at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on October 30, 2017 in Verona, Italy.  (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Liverpool target Samir Handanovic is reportedly set to sign a new contract through to 2021 at Inter Milan, which would end speculation of a move to Anfield. Meanwhile, the Reds will have to beat Juventus if they're to recruit Sporting CP winger Gelson Martins.

Handanovic has a little more than 18 months remaining on his current Inter contract, but Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (h/t Calciomercato.com) said he's primed to become one of their top earners with a new deal.

The 33-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, and it's said his new contract will boost his salary to €3.2 million (£2.9 million), albeit significantly less than team-mates Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic earn.

While Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp continues to rely on the contentious figure of Simon Mignolet between the posts, Handanovic remains an underrated figure, according to football writer David Amoyal:

Klopp signed Loris Karius from former club Mainz last summer as competition for Mignolet, but the German stopper hasn't been the success fans would have hoped, and Handanovic would be a major upgrade on both 'keepers.

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Handanovic is said to be chasing UEFA Champions League football with Inter and would be 36 by the time he reaches the expiration date of his new three-and-a-half-year contract should he sign.

The Slovenia No. 1 joined the Nerazzurri from Udinese in 2012 and has been one of, if not their most consistent star since then, and German football writer Lars Pollmann recently attested to his match-turning ability:

Elsewhere, Portuguese newspaper A Bola (h/t TalkSport) reported Juve will contend for the signature of Sporting star Martins, who was linked with Liverpool over the summer.

It's said the Reds were interested in a move for the winger before baulking at his £53.5 million release clause, and Metro's Portuguese football expert Jan Hagen recently pointed to the Bianconeri raising interest:

Martins has been at Sporting since joining their academy as a teenager, establishing himself as a key member of their first team in recent years and excelling with Portugal's national team of late.

The Lions recently posted evidence of the trickery he could bring to any club fortunate enough to capture him:

However, it seems unlikely Juve would be any more willing than Liverpool to fork out the full cost of his release clause, particularly midway through the season when he'll be cup-tied in European competition.

Serie A powerhouse Juve would be considered major competition for Martins if they were to make a serious offer, though, giving the Reds an unwanted rival in the chase for his services.