Liverpool fans may be set for a huge disappointment after the latest gossip on the Naby Keita front has suggested the Reds are ready to temporarily give up on prising the dynamic midfielder away from RB Leipzig and try again next year when a deal is more achievable.
Liverpool are believed to have had multiple bids for Keita rejected. The biggest and best of those offers totalled £66m and would have been a huge new Anfield record, but Leipzig remained firm in their stance that the player is not for sale.
It was reported in the press that Liverpool were starting to look for alternatives to Keita after a 2nd failed bid. However according to the Daily Telegraph, Liverpool are ‘increasingly pessimistic’ of their chances of capturing Keita this summer. That means unless Leipzig are suddenly willing to change their position and negotiate, talks will resume next summer when a release clause comes into play.
Activating the 48m clause
It is suggested that Guinea international Keita has a clause that will become active in 2018 that would allow Liverpool to sign him for a fixed figure of £48m. Assuming the player is happy to make the switch to Anfield at that time, it would be a much easier deal to agree, even if it comes with the disappointment of waiting another year for it to happen and the risks that are associated with that.
This issue here is that it plays right into the hands of Bayern Munich – they too will be allowed to purchase for the £48m fee. If RB Leipzig truly want to compete with them, selling to Liverpool now rather than potentially a rival next season is the only option?!
Midfield re-enforcements needed?
Potentially Liverpool will need to sign another midfielder this summer to ensure the squad is not left too thin in 2017/18, especially after Lucas’ transfer to Lazio, Jordan Henderson’s injury record in recent years and Emre Can being frequently linked with Juventus.
Coutinho has now taken a step back into midfield since the signing of Salah. But he’s consistently linked with Barcelona. Whatever happens – whatever stance Liverpool take, this is the best opportunity they have had for years. Jurgen Klopp at the help, cash in the bank and Champions League football.