Liverpool today confirmed our sixth signing of the summer in Alex Manninger, the 39-year-old goalkeeper who’d been out of contract following a stint at Augsburg.
We’ve already acquired Marko Grujic, Joel Matip, Loris Karius, Sadio Mane and Ragnar Klavan, while Gini Wijnaldum is expected to become the seventh in the coming hours.
Manninger will back up Karius and Simon Mignolet, and has been signed because of a rule change which means Jurgen Klopp cannot recall Danny Ward or Ryan Fulton from their loan spells in the lower leagues.
He’s been training with the squad during pre-season, and Klopp and goalkeeping coach John Achterberg have been suitably impressed enough to offer the stopper a one year contract.
“Honestly, it was a surprise. After these years, in Italy and the last four years in Germany, I hadn’t given up, I hadn’t said ‘that’s it’, I still waited for the phone call,” Manninger said today upon completion of the deal, reported in the Echo.
“When Liverpool was on the phone, it was a great pleasure for me to take it on because it gives me what I was looking for. This is the moment I was waiting for until the end.
“I’ve still got something left, for sure, but obviously it’s probably not the time for me to push for the next three or four years to get a place in the goal. Because time says it’s not possible to play 50 games a year. But if I’m called up, I’m definitely there for games, I will play. And I’ll definitely be in the changing room every game, giving my input; I hope, even if it’s only a couple of per cent, it will do the rest.”
The Austrian’s ex clubs include Juventus, Fiorentina and of course Arsenal, for whom he played for way back in the 1997/98 season!
If he makes an appearance this season, which is unlikely, he’ll become one of the oldest players to ever play for Liverpool. He’ll have to stay for a few years though to beat Ned Doig’s 98-year old record, with the Scottish keeper appearing aged 41 in 1908!