January replacement reportedly lined up for Liverpool-linked youngster

Genoa have reportedly targeted Parma's Antonio Mirante as a potential replacement for Liverpool-linked Mattia Perin should he leave in January.

Gianluigi Buffon has long had a stranglehold on the Italian goalkeeper scene, not to even mention the world stage.

The Azzurri no. 1 is the standard by which all young shot stoppers are judged, with the media constantly on the lookout for the second coming of the 36-year-old.

For this reason, it’s an honour for 21-year-old Mattia Perin to be widely referred to as the Juventus net-mider’s heir at the international level.

The youngster found his way into Italy’s World Cup squad last summer as the third option behind Buffon and Salvatore Sirigu, looking headed for a bright future.

And his exploits at Genoa this season – leading Serie A in saves with 31 – have only reinforced expectations that he’s a star in the making in between the pipes.

Recent reports have suggested that Liverpool are sniffing around Perin with an eye to bring him to Anfield as the goalkeeper of the future.

Simon Mignolet continues to face questions about his viability as a long-term option, with Perin the latest to be linked after fellow Serie A man Neto of Fiorentina.

Perin’s agent has indicated that he expects his client to remain at Genoa at least until the end of the season – but did leave the door open in case of an ‘undeniable’ January offer.

Parma-based outlet Teleducato have now claimed that the Grifone are eyeing up the Ducali’s Antonio Mirante as a potential replacement for Perin.

It appears Mirante could be a contingency plan for Genoa should that ‘undeniable’ offer indeed arrive, though in truth it looks unlikely.

Liverpool spent heavily over the summer and it would be something of a surprise to see them break the bank for Perin mid-season.

Genoa are well aware what a talent they have on their hands and with a brilliant start to the campaign behind them, won’t want to give up their young star just yet.

Perin would be an expensive proposition already for Liverpool in January but the Grifone could foreseeably get even more next summer at a time when purse strings will truly be loosened.

The Marassi outfit may well have Mirante in their sights to succeed Perin, however for now it looks at most a back-up plan should an improbable bid pop up this winter.

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