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Liverpool misfit Karius to join Union Berlin on season-long loan

14:51 BST 27/09/2020
Loris Karius Liverpool 2018-19
The German goalkeeper has not played for the Reds since his nightmare in the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid

Liverpool misfit Loris Karius will complete a season-long loan move to Union Berlin this week.

The goalkeeper, who has not featured competitively for the Reds since his nightmare in the 2018 Champions League final, has been back on Merseyside this summer after spending the last two seasons with Besiktas.

Karius has trained with Jurgen Klopp’s senior squad at Melwood but was informed upon his return that he would need to find a new club, with Alisson Becker and Adrian established as first and second-choice at Anfield.

Liverpool fielded enquiries from a number of clubs, including Montpellier, while Hertha Berlin also expressed an interest. 

However with nobody willing to meet the Reds’ asking price, thought to be around £6million (€6.5m/$7.7m), the decision has been taken to loan Karius out for a year, in the hope that he can play games and maintain, or perhaps increase, his market value.

The Bundesliga club will not have an option to make the move permanent.

Karius will undergo a medical in the German capital on Monday ahead of completing his move. Liverpool loaned another player, Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi, to Union earlier this month. Awoniyi started Saturday’s 1-1 draw away at Borussia Monchengladbach, lasting just under an hour. 

Karius’ is expected be the first of a number of departures at Liverpool before the transfer window closes next month. Both Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster are likely to be sold, with Burnley keen on signing Wilson and both Sheffield United and Crystal Palace interested in Brewster.

Marko Grujic could also leave, with Monchengladbach linked recently, and Liverpool would consider offers for Divock Origi or Xherdan Shaqiri, though sources say there is no “active plan” to sell either.

In terms of loans, Ben Woodburn will leave. Sparta Rotterdam had looked set to sign the Wales midfielder but face competition from League One side Hull, among others. Liam Millar, the Canadian international, is also expected to move on, as is Poland U21 goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, who is set to join Greek club PAOK.

Defender Nat Phillips, meanwhile, has been suffering with an injury, which has halted any potential switch. The 23-year-old has suitors in the Championship, as well as in both Germany and the Netherlands.

Midfielder Herbie Kane is still battling back to fitness following hamstring surgery, and is likely to be sidelined until after the window closes, which could mean he remains on Merseyside until January at least.

Liverpool expect to complete the signing of Brazilian goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga from Fluminense this week, in a deal which could cost the Reds up to £2m ($2.6m). The 17-year-old will train initially with the senior group at Melwood, but is likely to get game time with Barry Lewtas' under-23s.