Simon Mignolet has admitted that he is considering his future at Liverpool after being ousted as Jurgen Klopp's first-choice goalkeeper.
The oft-maligned Mignolet had managed to hold down a role as Liverpool's primary Premier League custodian over recent years despite no shortage of criticism, but now appears to have lost his place to deputy Loris Karius after being left on the bench for Sunday's (14 January) thrilling 4-3 defeat of Manchester City.
Klopp confirmed after that match that Karius, who also played in the FA Cup Merseyside derby win over Everton, would continue as his new number one despite failing to keep out three of four shots on target against City including a powerful Leroy Sane effort that flew past him at his near post.
Speaking to Belgian radio and television network Sporza, Mignolet, also benched for top-flight meetings with West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City in December, claimed to now have a better understanding of his position and hinted that he may be forced to look elsewhere as he seeks to continue playing regular first-team football in the build-up to the World Cup in Russia.
"After all that has happened this season, I know where I am at and the situation has become clearer," he said. "Klopp told me honestly and personally in that conversation. Of course I am absolutely not satisfied with that, but I must always respect a decision of the coach.
"Then we played against Everton in the FA Cup and after a longer break the game followed against Manchester City. So I had a hunch of what would happen and that proved to be correct.
"I always try to stay quiet and calm. In the past I did come back stronger from such situations. But I must of course also think of my own future. The only thing I can do is focus on my training and do my best. I become 30 years old and the World Cup is coming this summer. This situation cannot take too long, which is clear. I cannot lose any more time."
Mignolet added there was "absolutely no truth" in speculation that he had endured a bust-up with Klopp, insisting there were "certainly no heavy words" exchanged between the pair amid a situation that he described as not being "healthy" for a goalkeeper.
Grujic set for loan
While Mignolet may now ponder an exit from Liverpool, one player who does certainly look primed to leave Merseyside during the current January transfer window is Marko Grujic.
The young Serbian midfielder, still seen as a valuable long-term option, made the last of his three league substitute cameos in early December and Klopp has appeared open to potentially sanctioning a short-term departure with West Ham United and Huddersfield Town both chasing his signature.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds are seeking guarantees that the 21-year-old, also coveted by Galatasaray, will receive regular starting opportunities and seem likely to send him down a division having received several enquiries from second-tier clubs, possibly including Aston Villa. Klopp is believed to want Grujic to continue his development in England.
Liverpool, who opened the window by completing the £75m ($103.1m) signing of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, have loaned out Corey Whelan and Matty Virtue this month in addition to recalling Ryan Kent from Freiburg and sending him to Bristol City. Philippe Coutinho and Cameron Brannagan were sold to Barcelona and Oxford United respectively.