By Coral Barry
Marc-Andre ter Stegen has hinted he could be forced to leave Barcelona this summer amid reports Liverpool are interested in his services.
The stopper, 23, has played second fiddle to first-choice Claudio Bravo at the Spanish giants this season and speculation has been increasing that Jurgen Klopp has identified ter Stegen to replace Simon Mignolet at Liverpool.
A vast majority of ter Stegen’s appearances this season have come in Barcelona’s cup competition and the German international has hinted he is unhappy with being second in the pecking order.
“I want to take the next step and to play more. So the situation is clear: if nothing changes, we have to talk,” said ter Stegen speaking to TZ. “In football, sometimes things go very quickly.
“At the end of the season I’ll have played about 25 games. This is not a little, but when I return from the national team, I’ll probably be back on the bench in La Liga, for the Clasico against Real Madrid [on April 2].
“In the long run, these 25 games per season are not enough for me.
“The decision is made by the coach. I hope that the quality I’ve shown recently is rewarded.”
Barcelona employ a rotation system with Bravo first-choice for all La Liga matches and ter Stegen tasked with the cup games.
It means that ter Stegen has featured in all of Barcelona’s Champions League games, but at the same time his number of appearances are greatly reduced with Bravo taking over all the league duties.
Liverpool’s current top choice goalkeeper Mignolet has just signed a new five-year contract, but has followed up Klopp’s renewed faith in him with some high-profile errors.
Mignolet’s erratic form has sparked speculation that Klopp will dip into the transfer market in the summer in a bid to replace the Belgian.
In other Liverpool news, the Reds have made an offer for an Argentine striker.