• Premier League

Liverpool near signing of Mignolet

ESPN staff
June 15, 2013

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, ESPN understands.

Mignolet, named player of the season at the Stadium of Light, has emerged as a key target for Brendan Rodgers this summer.

A fee has yet to be agreed for the £10 million-rated Belgium international, but Liverpool are hopeful that a deal can be struck within the next week and it is understood Sunderland are open to selling a player who has two years remaining on his contract.

Liverpool manager Rodgers is keen to strengthen his goalkeeping department, with Pepe Reina's Anfield future continuing to look uncertain.

Reina has been linked with a return to his first club Barcelona, but that is only likely to go ahead if Victor Valdes leaves the Nou Camp.

Valdes has indicated he will not stay at Barca beyond the end of his contract, which expires in 2014, and has been linked with Monaco, but the 31-year-old has stated publicly that he intends to see his deal out rather than move on this summer.

Liverpool have been looking at a number of potential replacements for Reina, including Mignolet and Stoke's Asmir Begovic.

The Sunderland Echo has reported that Liverpool had an initial bid of £6.5m rejected, but Anfield sources are optimistic that a compromise can be found, which would leave the 25-year-old - who is currently on holiday - free to discuss personal terms.

Rodgers has already signed central defender Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City, while a deal has been agreed in principle to sign striker Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo for £7.7m.

Liverpool have declared they are "perfectly relaxed" about the Aspas deal going through, despite reports on Friday claiming that Spain's football federation, the RFEF, had put it on hold over allegations that the Merseysiders had negotiated with an agent who was not the player's FIFA-licensed representative.

Rodgers is also trying to sign Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto and Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori, and is weighing up a move for Shakhtar Donetsk midfield man Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

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