Liverpool look to Stoke man to provide keeper competition

Liverpool fans may argue that their club need improvement in plenty of areas if they are to quickly revisit the form that saw them finish as Premier League runners up last season, but there is one section where strengthening is beyond debate.

Simon Mignolet, at one point this season deemed unsuitable to start for the Anfield side by Brendan Rodgers, needs more competition for his first team place, with Brad Jones uninspiring in the role of passive understudy.

It seems, after many months of speculation, that Liverpool are finally placing themselves to address the lack of strength in depth between their sticks, with Stoke stopper Asmir Begovic firmly in their sights this summer.

The surprisingly-young Bosnian would certainly challenge the Belgian’s supremacy as chief glove-wearer for the Merseyside outfit and is rumoured to be the subject of a £10m bid from Liverpool this summer.

Begovic, 27, is thought to be fighting for his Potters career after being ousted from Mark Hughes’ starting lineup by Jack Butland for Stoke’s last Premier League outing.

The thinking is that, with Butland spending his entire Britannia Stadium tenure on the periphery so far, it is time to cash in on interest in Begovic and put faith in the England international for the future.

Begovic only has 12 months remaining on his Stoke contract and would likely see the chance of playing for a regular European challenger as a considerable stepping stone in his career.

Rodgers has also been linked with Fiorentina keeper Norberto Neto, but could feel far more confident of getting an instant impact from Begovic given the Trebinje native’s five years Premier League experience.

Liverpool are almost certain to miss out on a Champions League spot this season, but are 1/50 to finish in the top six according to Ladbrokes, where a Europa League space awaits them.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.