Liverpool are set to make Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet there third signing this summer.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has made the Belgium stopper one of his top targets this summer, as doubts increase as to whether Pepe Reina will stay at Anfield.
Liverpool are looking at completing their transfer business early this summer and put in an opening bid of 6.5million, which Sunderland flatly denied for a player that was key to help them from relegation. Liverpool made a second bid worth 8million but again Sunderland rejected. The Wearsiders want their valuation of the player to be matched, which stands at 10million.
The 10million price tag has not put off Liverpool though as they look to find a replacement for long-standing goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Liverpool are prepared to match Sunderland’s valuation of the Black Cats player of the season, if the Wearsiders valuation is matched then it appears Mignolet will be on his way to Anfield.
Arsenal, who are looking to sign a new shot stopper, showed an interest in Mignolet but have not put any bid as of yet but they could always step in with a late bid for Mignolet.
The clubs hottest property has been the subject of intense speculation since the end of the season after an impressive campaign, where he was considered of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League. Talks off a extension to his contract at the Stadium Of Light, which has two years left running, have stalled as the player and his agents are considering their options.
Mignolet’s chief agent, Guy Vandersmissen, said earlier this month that the keeper would not ask for a move but that the ball was firmly in Sunderland’s court.
“There is a contract so we have to respect that, but I don’t think at this moment we would be prepared to sign a new contract,” commented Vandersmissen.
“There is another two years on his contract, if they want us to stick to that, we will stick to that and perhaps leave after two years if there is an interest in Simon.”
Sunderland would not want Mignolet to leave on a free transfer so if he does not accept a contract extension then Sunderland would rather sell him this summer and get more money to reinvest in there squad.
Sunderland will not sell the Belgium international if they do not have their valuation met by Liverpool as the Anfield club are receiving mixed messages from Reina about his future at the club, stating it would be hard to turn down Barcelona but was committed to his Liverpool contract. Liverpool are trying to reduce their wage bill and Reina is one of the highest earners at the club on 110,000-a-week and has not particularly been at his best form in recent years and won’t be considered a big loss to the club.
Mignolet is said to be happy at Sunderland but wants to oust Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtis as Belgium number one before the 2014 World Cup and knows that a big move will improve his chances.
The Sunderland goalkeeper had a great season playing in all 38 league games keeping 11 clean sheets and saving Sunderland from relegation, thanks to many point saving games over the course of the season.
But he knows that a move to a high profile team will improve will enhance his international career which is important to him.