Loris Karius has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to represent his country at the Olympics next month in order to focus on becoming Liverpool's No.1.
The goalkeeper signed from Mainz in a £4.7 million deal earlier this summer and it was feared he may miss the start of the campaign due to involvement with Germany men's football team in Brazil.
But the 'keeper was not included in his country's 18-man squad after talks with Reds boss Jürgen Klopp, with the two coming to the conclusion that Karius would be better to go on the club's pre-season tour of America.
Attending the Olympics would also have guaranteed Karius' absence for the first two league games, away at Arsenal and Burnley, in which the 'keeper is backing himself to feature ahead of previous first-choice Simon Mignolet.
Karius reveals Klopp talks which inspired decision to reject chance to play in the Olympics
"I spoke with the manager and we said that it didn't make sense for me to go to the Olympics," Karius told Liverpoolfc.com, explaining that he "would miss the first two league games of the season" and that "of course" he wants "to play in them."
The Reds shotstopper said that they "agreed together" that he "wouldn't be going" to Rio, revealing that first he "spoke with Jürgen" and then "together" they "spoke with the Germany people who wanted me to go."
Karius insisted that his "priority is the club" and that it is "more important" that he's "available for the start of the season" rather than playing in Germany's Olympics squad.
The 23-year-old was signed to add competition for Mignolet, who has had no-one to push him for his starting place in recent seasons.
Though Karius refused to admit whether he has spoken to Klopp about who will start the season in goal of the two 'keepers, but declared that he would not have joined the club to play second-fiddle to his Belgium teammate.
"What we've talked about stays with us," said a tight-lipped Karius, who insisted that he's aware "a club like this has more competition" because it's "a bigger club" with "better players" which naturally "means more competition" for places.
But the German declared he is "not scared" of fighting for his place and said that otherwise he "wouldn't have come here." He added that he has "a good feeling" about playing on Merseyside and that he "wouldn't come here just to sit on the bench" because it "doesn't make sense" for him.
Karius believes Liverpool was the ideal "next step" in his career
Evidently confident in his abilities to establish himself as Klopp's first-choice, Karius insisted that he isn't a player who "hasn't shown his ability" and said he knows he's "a good goalkeeper" and declared: "I've shown that a lot."
The former Manchester City Academy youngster admitted he could "have stayed at Mainz and played there" if he "wasn't sure" whether he would play regularly at Liverpool, saying he "wouldn't have come" if he didn't believe he would feature.
Karius said it was "good to be back in England" having left City when he was "still really young" so that he could "get some first-team experience."
Admitting he moved to "a smaller club" in order to get his "career going as a young player", Karius claimed that he did "everything right" by moving to the Bundesliga where he had "almost three full seasons."
"I am still young but I've played around 100 games in the Bundesliga so I have some experience," he explained, continuing that he "thought it was time to take the next step" and that Liverpool was "a good next step" after the opportunity "came up."
On his aims now he's on Merseyside, Karius said: "I just need to produce my best and show what I can do. The manager has seen a good goalkeeper in me otherwise he wouldn't have brought me here."
He also said that he needs "to settle in, get to know all the players and get communication going with all of the defence" but explained there are "a lot of pre-season games" in which to do those things and show his "qualities."