As reported by BBC Sport this afternoon, Chelsea’s Petr Cech has been ‘given permission’ to talk to other clubs regarding a potential summer move.
The Czech international is undoubtedly one of the greatest goalkeepers in Premier League history, boasting four league titles, the 2012 Champions League title and 332 appearances as the Blues No.1, and at 32 years of age is still firmly within his goalkeeping prime.
But he’ll be leaving Stamford Bridge in the coming transfer window after losing his starting berth to the prodigious Thibaut Courtois.
Arsenal and Liverpool are considered to be his likeliest suitors; but Jose Mourinho revealed last weekend his reluctance to let Cech leave for another Premier League side – as reported by The Guardian.
That could rule both English clubs out of the equation, amid rumours Cech’s already held talks with Turkish outfit Besiktas.
But fear not Liverpool fans, for Football Fancast is here to help. Using our god-given powers of transfer know-how, we’ve listed FIVE alternative goalkeepers the Reds could turn to this summer.
According to reports from The Daily Mail last week, Liverpool have been running the rule over Fiorentina’s Noberto Neto for some time.
The 25 year-old has emerged as one of the most consistent No.1s in Serie A since joining the Florence outfit from Atletico Paranaense in summer 2011, this season claiming nine clean sheets and making 46 saves in 27 league starts.
Perhaps most appealingly to Liverpool, the Brazilian is set to leave Viola on a free transfer this summer – as Fiorentina revealed in an official club statement during the January transfer window.
But if there’s one predominant concern, it’s Neto’s limited exposure to English, international or Champions League football – although he did reach the semi-finals of the Europa League this season.
Liverpool aren’t the only interested party, however; The Metro have alleged Arsenal and Juventus to be also courting his signature.
Primarily considered an Arsenal target, but with a release clause of just £13million, Liverpool would be wise to enter the race for Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno too.
The 23 year-old has served as the Bundesliga outfit’s No.1 for the past four seasons, amassing 164 appearances in all competitions, and particularly impressed in the Champions League’s group stages earlier this year.
Domestically too, he’s been in fantastic form, claiming the second-most clean sheets of any goalkeeper in the German top flight, 15, after Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, 19.
Germany have produced an outrageous number of high quality goalkeepers over the last few years and Leno is yet another. He also boasts the record as the youngest goalie to ever feature in the Champions League, aged 19 back in 2011.
That suggests a bright future ahead for the 6 foot 3 shot-stopper – but as aforementioned, Arsenal are considered the front-runners for his signature.
Keylor Navas signed for Real Madrid in a €10million deal only last summer following his World Cup heroics for Costa Rica, playing an intrinsic role in their march to the tournament’s quarter-finals.
But he’s since made just ten appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos, with public consensus firmly on the side of veteran No.1 Iker Casillas, including only five starts in La Liga.
If the European champions launch a swoop for Manchester United’s David De Gea this summer as widely expected, the 28 year-old could find himself plummeting even further down the Bernabeu pecking order.
No doubt, Navas is a sensationally talented goalkeeper; last term he claimed La Liga’s Goalkeeper of the Year award, having made the most saves of any ‘keeper in the division – an incredible 141 – for former club Levante.
Should Real’s move for De Gea come into fruition, Navas might be keen to jump ship – in fact, The Metro have already alleged such a scenario. Earlier this season, however, the 6 foot 1 shot-stopper stated his intentions to continue fighting for a starting berth in the Spanish capital.
In terms of goalkeepers with Premier League-proven pedigree who are realistically available this summer, Asmir Begovic tops the list.
He’s shown a remarkable consistency as Stoke City’s No.1 over the last five seasons, in that time winning the club’s Young Player of the Year, Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year (twice) and Supporters’ Club Player of the Year awards.
With just a year remaining on his Potters contract and discussions over a new deal yet to get underway, Stoke could be forced to cash in on the Bosnian international this summer.
In fact, manager Mark Hughes has dropped the 27 year-old from Stoke’s last two matchday squads, facing Swansea and Spurs, in favour of prodigious understudy Jack Butland – suggesting Stoke could already be preparing for life without him.
According to reports from the Stoke Sentinel, Begovic will be made available for just £8million this summer – but Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have all been linked by the tabloids in recent weeks.
Head and shoulders above the rest in Serie A this season, Samir Handanovic looks set to claim his third spot in the division’s Team of the Year.
That’s in no small part due to him keeping eleven clean sheets and making 71 saves in his 34 league outings for Inter Milan, ranking him fourth and seventh throughout the Italian top flight in each category respectively.
The 30 year-old also lays claim to the rather incredible feat of saving six consecutive penalties for the San Siro outfit and boasts considerable experience at the top end of the game, with 35 appearances in continental competitions and 75 caps for Slovenia under his belt already.
And although Inter Milan now find themselves privy to the fortunes of owner Erick Thorhir, they could still be forced to cash in on Handanovic this summer; his contract is set to expire in 2016, and Nerazzurri need to balance their books to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
The Metro value him at around the £16million mark, but also moot Manchester United as his likeliest suitors.