Liverpool goalkeeper Manninger announces retirement

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alex Manninger has announced his retirement from the professional game, it has been confirmed.

The Premier League giants confirmed on their official club website on Thursday that the 39-year-old veteran is set to hang up his boots this summer, with his contract at Liverpool set to expire on June 30.

He failed to make a single appearance at Anfield, having joined last summer on a free transfer, but he will be remembered for a well-travelled career that saw him represent 14 different sides.

European heavyweights Juventus and Fiorentina, as well as Premier League rivals Arsenal, were among Manninger’s former employers during his 22-year career.

But despite his lack of appearances on the pitch for Liverpool this term, his decision to walk away from Anfield is emphatic one, due to the influence he has had off the field.

The 34-time capped Austrian international has provided detailed advice to his goalkeeping rivals Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius over the course of the campaign, with the pair enduring lengthy criticism for their inconsistent displays.

Manninger was also on-call as the third-choice stopper, in case Jurgen Klopp saw his options limited, although his responsibilities did not extend that far.

His imminent departure from the club could also force Klopp into acquiring a new third-choice option, having previously rubbished speculation regarding a move for a new goalkeeper this summer.

But the Liverpool chief could potentially turn to 23-year-old Danny Ward, who is set to return to the club following his loan spell at Huddersfield Town.

Manninger won the Premier League and FA Cup double with Arsenal during the 1997-98 season, and was also part of the Juventus side that lifted the 2011-12 Italian Serie A title.

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