Simon Mignolet's Agent Confirms Napoli Talks but 'No Agreement' with Liverpool

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 15, 2018

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 17:  Simon Mignolet of Liverpool instructs his team during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool at Vitality Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Bournemouth, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The agent of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has confirmed the Belgian is in discussions with Serie A side Napoli, though the clubs are yet to come to an agreement over a deal. 

Mignolet looks to be third in the Reds' goalkeeper pecking order following Alisson Becker's record arrival from AS Roma, with Loris Karius having already beaten him to the starting spot last season. His agent Nico Vaessen told La Derniere Heure (h/t ESPN FC's Glenn Price) negotiations are under way:

"We're talking, but there's no agreement. It's in the interest of the club to find a solution.

"Liverpool want to keep him, but he wants to and must play. He deserves to play in a great team.

"For them [Napoli], Simon represents the best option in terms of quality, but there's also the financial aspect."

After the Premier League transfer window closed on Thursday, Serie A will be the next to shut for the summer, and Napoli have until Friday evening to conclude their business.

The Merseysiders have already sold Welsh stopper Danny Ward to Leicester City for £12.5 million this summer. Either one of youngsters Caoimhin Kelleher or Kamil Grabara, both 19, could take Mignolet's place as Jurgen Klopp's third-choice 'keeper should he leave this month.

Sportswriter Jack Lusby predicted as much for the season ahead following Ward's departure for the King Power Stadium, with summer signing Alisson already impressing in the No. 1 jersey:

Jack Lusby @jacklusby_

Imagine he and Caoimhin Kelleher will alternate duties as third goalkeeper for the first team this season, although Simon Mignolet is still part of the squad at this stage.

The Partenopei are seeking a short-term solution after Alex Meret—their 21-year-old summer signing from Udinese—broke his arm in training days after joining the club for €35 million.

It's not the first time Napoli have been linked with Mignolet. GianlucaDiMarzio.comreported in August 2017 that the Naples club were interested in his signature last summer, but they chose to retain Reina for the final year of his contract at the Stadio San Paolo.

Mignolet was usurped as No. 1 by Karius last season, but a disappointing display in May's UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid left some with the impression the latter could be sold.

However, fan account Empire of the Kop said it's German who should serve as deputy to Alisson:

Empire of the Kop @empireofthekop

Not really sure how we can let Karius go now... Mignolet is the GK who'll be sold and we need a half-decent backup. So, don't believe the Karius to Besiktas rumours for a second.

Napoli also signed 33-year-old Orestis Karnezis from Udinese to compete with Meret for playing time, presenting another presence that could keep Mignolet benched in Naples if all doesn't go to plan.

Some Liverpool supporters may see the Belgium international as dead weight and would like to see him sold, but the eight-year Premier League servant may seek stronger first-team assurances if he's to leave this summer.

The stopper has another three years left to run on his contract and could remain at Anfield in the hopes a better opportunity might come along, while it's also possible he could leave Merseyside on temporary terms.


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