Loris Karius’ long road to Wembley… via Milan! Newcastle’s third-choice goalkeeper relaxes with his Italian TV presenter girlfriend Diletta Leotta in her homeland, just six days before he plays his first game in two years in the Carabao Cup final
- Loris Karius is set to deputise for Newcastle’s Nick Pope – who is suspended
- The German goalkeeper’s last outing came in the Bundesliga for Union Berlin
- Jurgen Klopp insists that Newcastle have a ‘great goalie’ in his former player
Loris Karius has been picture having coffee in Milan just days before he could be in line or a return to English club action for new side Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final.
The German goalkeeper – notorious for his poor showing in a Liverpool shirt in the 2018 Champions League final – is in line for a sensational return between the sticks in the Magpies’ biggest game in almost 24 years on Sunday.
With regular stopper Nick Pope suspended after seeing red against Liverpool on Saturday evening, second-choice Marcin Dubravka cup-tied, and third-choice Karl Darlow on loan, Karius is one of two remaining options.
The other is 30-year-old Mark Gillespie, who unlike Karius has represented Newcastle previously, making three Carabao Cup appearances in 2020-21.
With arguably his biggest game in almost five years on the horizon, Karius sought a break from the action at St. James’ Park by travelling to a Milan cafe on Tuesday with partner Diletta Leotta, and Italian presenter.
Loris Karius was spotted in a cafe in Milan with partner Diletta Leotta, an Italian presenter
The German goalkeeper is set for a return to the sticks for an English club for the first time in almost five years
With the Carabao Cup final just six days away the pair relaxed in Leotta’s homeland, Italy
Karius is yet to represent his new club – who he joined last summer – but Eddie Howe assured Magpies fans that both options at his disposal were ‘match ready’.
‘They’ve started games away from competitive action in several friendlies and training games. I’d say they’re match ready.
‘I would have confidence in them, that’s what they’re in the squad for. They’ve both been very competitive and part of our group all season. I have full confidence.
‘I feel really sorry for Nick [Pope]. It’s a very difficult one, he’s come out and slightly misjudged the ball, I suppose technically it is a handball, I don’t know the rules on the red card.’
The German’s last outing for an English side saw him leave the field in tears, after two high-profile errors for the Reds cost them dearly against Real Madrid in the final of Europe’s premier club competition.
With the scores locked at 0-0, Karius rolled the ball out directly to Karim Benzema under seemingly little pressure, for the French No 9 to convert from inside the box in the 51st minute to break the deadlock.
Gareth Bale then picked up the ball after scoring a great goal earlier in the match to make it 2-1 to Los Blancos, and let fly from around 35 yards out in a speculative attempt that was straight at Karius.
However, Karius was unable to keep the ball out, with it flying inexplicably through his hands and nestling into the back of the net to the surprise of all 22 players on the field.
Karius is in line to replace the suspended Nick Pope after his red card against Liverpool
The pair have shared pictures on their Instagram accounts – with a combined following of 10.4million
The Carabao Cup final will be just two days prior to the two-year anniversary of the German’s last competitive outing.
After the disastrous 2018 Champions League final, Karius spent four years on loan at Besiktas and Union Berlin, before returning to Anfield at the start of the 2021-22 season.
However, he failed to return to the field for the Reds, and was released at the end of his contract in summer 2022, only to be snapped up by the Magpies in September 2022.
But former boss Jurgen Klopp insisted that he can be depended on, stating: ‘You can absolutely rely on him there’s no doubt about that he’s a great goalie that’s why Newcastle signed him.’
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