Liverpool transfer news: New goalkeeper Simon Mignolet relishing challenge

 

New Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is looking forward to the challenge of trying to supplant Jose Reina as the Reds' number one.

The Belgium international last night completed his move from Sunderland after putting pen to paper on a long-term contract, and he is set to battle against Reina and Brad Jones for a starting berth at Anfield

Reina has been closely linked with a return to old club Barcelona over the last few months, but the Spaniard insists he sees his future at Liverpool, while manager Brendan Rodgers has also stressed Mignolet has not been signed as a replacement for the 30-year-old.

If Reina does remain with Liverpool, Mignolet faces a fight to dislodge the long-serving first-choice but the 25-year-old insists he is up for the challenge and has complete confidence in himself.

"It's a challenge, but that's what you want. You want to play in the big games, you want to play for a big club and to play with pressure," said Mignolet, whose transfer fee could rise to more than £11million.

"I'm very confident in myself and my own abilities and I can't wait to get the first clean sheet under my belt.

"I've never been a nervous person. I'm quite confident in my own abilities."

He added: "Competition can only be a good thing.

"I've been in big competitions wherever I've been - in Belgium with the national team and in Sunderland with Craig Gordon and Keiren Westwood, who are international goalies.

"Now it's the same again with Pepe and with Brad.

"It's only a good thing - to be competitive and to train as hard as you can, it can only bring the best out of you.

"Pepe is an experienced goalkeeper who has proven a lot over the years.

"I'm looking forward to working with him, the same as I am with Brad and the goalie coach.

Mignolet, who becomes the Reds' fourth signing of the summer following Manchester City's Kolo Toure, Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas and Sevilla's Luis Alberto, also refuses to be daunted by the step up to Liverpool.

"It's a big club and when you arrive it's a big thing," he told liverpoolfc.com.

"I'm very pleased to be here and I'm looking forward to getting started."

Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio, meanwhile, thanked keeper Mignolet for his efforts at the Stadium of Light.

The Italian told the club's official website, http://www.safc.com: "Simon is a fantastic footballer, a fantastic professional and a fantastic lad and I would like to personally thank him for his contribution to the team last season."

PA

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