Union Berlin have secured the services of goalkeeper Loris Karius on a one-year loan deal from English Premier League champions Liverpool.
It will be a return to the Bundesliga for the 27-year-old German, who spent almost three seasons as Mainz's first-choice keeper between 2013 and 2016.
Karius moved to Merseyside ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, making 49 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool. He has spent the past two seasons on loan at Turkish Süper Lig club Besiktas, keeping 14 clean sheets in 55 top-flight outings.
"I'm looking forward to my new opportunity in Berlin and I’m happy to be playing in the Bundesliga again," Karius said after signing for Die Eisernen. "Union is a special club, one that has earned a great deal of respect, not just by promotion to the Bundesliga. I would like to play my part in this positive development and help to achieve the great goal of staying in the Bundesliga.
A native of Biberach, a southern town located around 50 miles south-east of Stuttgart, Karius came through the youth ranks at FV Biberach, SG Mettenberg, SSV Ulm 1846 and VfB Stuttgart before getting his first opportunity in England, spending two years at the Manchester City youth academy.
The former Germany youth player then joined the Mainz setup in 2011 and made his Bundesliga debut in December 2012, at the age of 19, under current Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel. In total he made 91 Bundesliga appearances for the 05ers, keeping 30 clean sheets.
"The signing of Loris Karius means we have secured a goalkeeper with great national and international experience," declared Oliver Ruhnert, Union's director of professional football. "His strengths are well known, so we are pleased to be in an excellent position in this important role of the team from our perspective. For Loris it offers the chance to focus again on the Bundesliga in a stable environment and to try to stay in the league with Union."
Watch: Loris Karius - good with his hands and feet!
Karius is one of 12 new arrivals at Union this summer, along with the likes of Marius Bülter, Keita Endo, Max Kruse and Andreas Luthe – with whom he will be competing for the No.1 spot. He is also the second to join on loan from Liverpool, after Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi.
Urs Fischer's side are entering their second full Bundesliga season, having managed an impressive 11th-placed finish in their debut campaign in 2019/20. So far they have lost 3-1 at home to Augsburg and drawn 1-1 at Borussia Mönchengladbach, and Karius's debut could potentially come against his former club Mainz in the Matchday 3 curtain-raiser on Friday.