19 Oct 2015

Anfield-bound? Klopp wants 'incredible' Bundesliga powerhouse to replace £60k-a-week Liverpool star. 'Interest' confirmed in 2014

Last season, FC Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn confirmed Liverpool's interest in signing him, and with reports claiming that the Reds are still monitoring the 22-year old, Cologne have responded to speculation that Jurgen Klopp is considering a January raid on the Bundesliga club.

Liverpool were last linked with Horn in December 2014, when the Liverpool Echo claimed:

"Liverpool FC are lining up a bid for Germany Under-21 star Timo Horn amid suggestions they're to offload Simon Mignolet [Salary: £60k-a-week".

Speculation has resurfaced this month, and when asked on Friday whether there is any truth to the Liverpool-Horn rumours, Cologne sports chief Jörg Schmadtke told German newspaper Express:

"Jurgen [Klopp] has not contacted us yet [about a transfer]".

This is not a denial. Schmadke could've unambiguously dimissed the speculation, but he didn't, which suggests that Liverpool may still have an ongoing interest.

Horn is definitely aware of Liverpool's interest, and midway through last season, he told reporters:

"While it's great when you awaken the interest of a club like Liverpool, at the moment it is not the right time for me to consider it."

Soon after, Horn's agent told Express 1:

"We have been told about those [Liverpool] rumours, but no one contacted us directly"

Horn is definitely for sale at the right price, and Cologne's vice-chairman Toni Schumacher confirmed this recently when he told reporters:

"We are closely controlled by our financial abilities. So when a big club comes with the right offer, we can't say 'no'."

Some info about €13.5m-rated Horn:

* 6'4 goalkeeper in his fourth season at FC Cologne. Current contract expires in 2019.

* 107 goals conceded in 116 games for Cologne (0.9 per game | 1 goal conceded every 1.08 games)

* 48 clean sheets (41% of games). As a comparison: Mignolet has 30 clean sheets in 105 games (30% of games overall)

* Oct 2014: Conceded only 7 goals in 9 games, equalling Bayern Munich's 50-year record.

* Last season: Went 365 minutes without conceding a goal, and helped Cologne set a new goals-conceded record for a newly promoted team.

* Harald Schumacher's assessment: "I see a lot of myself in Timo. We always had players who could control the ball and use their pace to attack quickly, so getting the ball to them as soon as possible was always important. It’s the same for Timo and he does it superbly".

Distribution is one of Mignolet's fatal weaknesses, and it sounds like Horn is comfortable on the ball, and excels at playing out of defence, which is exactly what Liverpool need.

Cologne are understandably desperate to keep hold of Horn, and in a recent interview, the club's boss, Peter Stoger, enthused:

"He [Horn] does an incredible job. I would be happy if he stays, it would be a good platform for him to develop."

Cologne are currently in debt to the tune of €25m, so if Liverpool make an attractive offer, it may be hard for the German club to refuse.

Good competition/replacement for Mignolet?

Author: Jaimie K


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