Liverpool unexpectedly sign former Arsenal player: 'Honestly, it was a surprise'

Liverpool unexpectedly sign former Arsenal player: 'Honestly, it was a surprise'
File photo dated 25-07-1998 of Alex Manninger. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Liverpool have completed the signing of goalkeeper Alex Manninger on a free transfer, subject to international clearance.

The 39-year-old former Arsenal keeper left Augsburg in the summer and it is believed he has signed a one-year contract.

Manninger will provide back-up to Simon Mignolet and fellow new arrival Loris Karius, who arrived from German club Mainz.

"Honestly, it was a surprise," Manninger, who was already out with the squad on their tour of the United States, told

"After these years, in Italy and the last four years in Germany, I hadn't given up, I hadn't said 'That's it', I still waited for the phone call.

"When Liverpool were on the phone, it was a great pleasure for me to take it on because it gives me what I was looking for. This is the moment I was waiting for until the end.

"I've still got something left, for sure, but obviously it's probably not the time for me to push for the next three or four years to get a place in goal.

"Time says it's not possible to play 50 games a year but if I'm called up I'm definitely there for games, I will play.

"I'll definitely be in the changing room every game, giving my input; I hope, even if it's only a couple of per cent, it will do the rest."

Manninger, a former Austria international who also played for Fiorentina, Udinese and Juventus, had been training with Liverpool prior to him signing a contract.

The goalkeeper is Jurgen Klopp's sixth signing of the summer after Karius, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Marko Grujic and Sadio Mane - with Newcastle midfielder Georgino Wijnaldum likely to be next after he completes his medical on Merseyside on Friday.

The manager explained the reasons for signing the veteran goalkeeper.

"He brings us great experience," he said.

"We have sent out some of the goalkeepers on loan to get games, which is important because in this position you only come off the bench if there is an injury or a red card.

"They changed the rules so we cannot bring an Under-21 goalkeeper back from a team in England during the season if we have a problem, so we had to make a decision - keep somebody back to protect us or bring in someone else who can give us experience - and I think this is the best solution to allow others to develop."

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