Belfast Telegraph

Mignolet edges closer to Reds move

Liverpool's summer recruitment continues to gather momentum with Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet expected to have a medical next week.

The two clubs have been negotiating over a fee for the Belgium international but those talks are at a level where preparations can begin for the next stage of the transfer.

Press Association Sport understands Mignolet is expected to attend the Reds' Melwood training ground next week to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical.

His arrival pushes the future of Liverpool's established number one Jose Reina further into the spotlight. Speculation has widely linked the Spain international with a summer move to former club Barcelona but, with their goalkeeper Victor Valdes insistent he will see out the remaining year of his contract, there may not be an opening at the Nou Camp.

On Thursday Reina said he planned to see out the three years of his contract - and possibly extend it - but did concede a move to a bigger club would be a "good opportunity". No approach has so far been received from the Catalans for Reina and Liverpool could conceivably begin the season with two high-profile goalkeepers on their books.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has said he wants competition in every position throughout his squad and with all the speculation surrounding Reina, who is currently in action at the Confederations Cup, it would have been negligent of him not to have lined up an alternative.

But it is unclear whether Rodgers wants to start next season with a situation where he has to upset either one of his most experienced - and highest-earning - players - or his new signing.

Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto is expected to be confirmed as Rodgers' third signing in the next couple of days after travelling to the club's Melwood training ground for a medical. The 20-year-old has said he will use the success of Spaniards in the Premier League to motivate him.

"I'm very much looking forward to it," Alberto said. "I'm going to a club like Liverpool, a new culture, a new language, I have to adapt quickly but I'm really looking forward to this big step. There are many Spaniards in England and they are doing quite well. Seeing all of them succeeding there motivates me even more."

Despite reported problems in Spain regarding the transfer of Iago Aspas, who has issues with various agents to resolve, Liverpool have no doubts the deal will be confirmed at some point.

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