Throughout the last few week it has been widely reported that Liverpool seem to be closing in on the signature of Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad Jones, although the Teesside club remain adamant that no fee has yet been agreed between the two clubs.
It is thought that the Australian international will move to Anfield for a fee in the region of £2.5 million, to provide much needed cover as understudy to World Cup winner, Pepe Reina.
The 28 year old Jones, came through the highly regarded Middlesbrough youth set up, signing a professional contract with the club in 1999. Despite being sent out on loan to the likes of Blackpool and Sheffield Wednesday during his time in the North East, Jone’s has always been a strong part of the Boro first team, moving into the number one spot when mentor Mark Schwarzer moved to Fulham in 2008.
With only Diego Cavalieri the only backup goalkeeper with any substantial experience in the Liverpool squad, many fans believe that a new signing to bring further cover is essential. However it would be naïve for manager Roy Hodgson to go out and spend £7million plus for a top world class goalkeeper as they are unlikely to dislodge Riena, who had some of the best stats of any keeper in the Premier League last season, from the number one spot.
Although a big money signing in goal would create competition and keep Reina on his game, the signing of Brad Jones would have a similar affect as the player does have the necessary talent to challenge Reina on his day for a starting position, and would cost the Reds much less than a move for any other foreign or Premier League keeper of a similar standing.
While many question the Premier League credentials of Jones, who the first choice keeper for Boro when they were relegated from the top flight over a year ago, such a small transfer fee for an experienced keeper, could be seen as a shrewd move by manager Hodgson as the Merseyside outfit look for greater strength in depth this campaign in order to build a better season than they did last campaign.
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