Liverpool have snapped up former Arsenal keeper, Alex Manninger on a free transfer.

The Austrian, now 39, spent five years in London with Arsenal, has signed for Jurgen Klopp after leaving the German side, Ausberg, at the end of the season.

Speaking to the Liverpool site, Manninger said, “Honestly, it was a surprise. 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 was 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.”

5 Dec 2000:  Alex Manninger of Arsenal organises his defence during the UEFA Champions League Group C match against Bayern Munich played at Highbury, in London. The match ended in a 2-2 draw.  Mandatory Credit: Ben Radford /Allsport
5 Dec 2000: Alex Manninger of Arsenal organises his defence during the UEFA Champions League Group C match against Bayern Munich played at Highbury, in London. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. Credit: Ben Radford /Allsport

Klopp explained why he moved for the veteran, saying, “Alex has played at a high level in his career in the top division in England, Germany, Spain, Italy and Austria for some very big teams – not many people can say that!  

“He brings us great experience and I know that as a person he is someone who every day will show what a great professional he is and will be important for the squad.

“We have sent out some of the goalkeepers on loan and 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 U21 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.  

“In this way, this is good for everyone and I am really happy that he comes into the group.”

After leaving Arsenal in 2002, Manninger went on to play for Espanyol, Torino, Bologna, Sienna (twice), Red Bull Salzberg (twice), Udinese, Juventus, and, finally, FC Ausburg before this move.

He made 64 appearances for Arsenal, 63 of those coming as a start. During his time with the club, he won the League and Cup double as well as the Community Shield in 1998 and ‘99.

He will wear number 13 for his new club.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.