Liverpool are reportedly edging closer to completing a deal for Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, as Barcelona continue their pursuit of Reds No 1 Pepe Reina. The Mail Online believes the Black Cats value their star at £10 while the Reds' initial bid was £7m. A compromise, possibly around the £8m mark, could be reached soon.
Brendan Rodgers has been searching the market for an experienced shot stopper to replace the Spaniard. And the Northern Irishman is now convinced the Belgium international is the ideal candidate and is keen on snapping him up in the next week.
Mignolet started all 38 Premier League matches for Sunderland last season, keeping 11 clean sheets and making 149 saves. The Shields Gazette previously linked the 25-year-old Mignolet with Premier League champions Manchester United, Arsenal and even Serie A club Napoli
The goalkeeper's representative, Nico Vaesen, recently revealed his client wants to move to a club that can offer European football. Mignolet is facing tough competition from Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois to become Belgium's No 1 for next year's World Cup.
"I think it is very unlikely that he will sign a new contract. Simon has come to a point where he wants to step up a level. He is very ambitious and wants to play in the World Cup in Brazil next year," the agent stressed.
"It was a good thing Sunderland stayed up and it is a fantastic club where he has had three great years. But it is maybe time to step up a level and play for a club competing for a European spot," Vaesen added.
Meanwhile, back at Anfield, Reina is expected to return to the Camp Nou this summer, as a direct replacement for Spain team mate Victor Valdes. The Blaugrana star has confirmed he will not extend his contract, which ends next year, with the Nou Camp side.
Valdes has been quoted as saying he will remain with Barcelona for the duration of his contract, to give the Spanish champions "sufficient time to find the best solution for the club" but talk of a mega money move from newly promoted Ligue 1 side AS Monaco could turn his head.