Liverpool-linked star never dreamed of Manchester and loves current club

Genoa’s Mattia Perin is one of the most in-demand young goalkeepers on the market.

Liverpool-linked goalkeeper Mattia Perin says that he is fully focussed on Genoa despite interest from elsewhere, telling reporters he ‘never dreamed of playing in Manchester’.

The spotlight has been on the Italian since he was a teenager in the Genoa youth system, hailed by many as the next coming of the still-active Gianluigi Buffon.

It was on loan with Padova in Serie B during the 2011-12 campaign that Perin truly began to come of age, named the league’s goalkeeper of the season with some impressive displays.

The following term would see Perin get his first true chance to cut it in Serie A on loan at Pescara, where the Italian would learn the trials and tribulations of the top flight.

A historically catastrophic Delfini defence conceded 84 goals, but Perin’s reputation remained intact. An incredible 15-save display against Fiorentina in January 2013 didn’t hurt.

Perin returned to Genoa to take up the number one role last term and hasn’t looked back since – showing steady and marked improvement over the past 18 months.

The Latina-born shot stopper leads Serie A with 70 saves this term and has recorded clean sheets against Fiorentina, Juventus, AC Milan, Cesena and twice against Lazio.

The giants of Europe have taken notice, as Perin continues to gain recognition outside of the peninsula, already widely heralded in Italy.

In December his agent revealed to Rai Sport that Liverpool had already made contact for Perin, with the Reds looking to add a competitor for current starter Simon Mignolet.

The 22-year-old’s future continues to be the subject of speculation. FCInterNews reported on Tuesday that Inter are also considering the Italy international as a replacement for Samir Handanovic.

But Perin maintains he has eyes only for Genoa for the time being, insisting his sentiments lie at home rather than in famed football cities abroad.

He told reporters at the Values Cup: “My friends send me messages on WhatsApp with everything written about me, but I don’t know anything and I’m not thinking about it.

“When I was little I didn’t dream of playing for Real Madrid or in Manchester, I just wanted to be idolised by the fans. As a child I thought I’d be an idol for the Latina fans.

“But to get that feeling from Genoa, where I grew up in football, is a fantastic feeling. They make me feel loved, and because of that I’m happy here and at the moment I’m not thinking about anything else.”

Agent Moreno Roggi previously said to Rai Sport that Genoa will demand at least €15 million for Perin, saying he sees a future outside of Italy due to the financial implications of that figure.

Only time will tell in terms of what Perin’s next move will be, and given the opportunity is there, it can’t be ruled out that he could remain in Genoa for at least a little while longer.

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