11 Jan, 11:30
Liverpool’s hopes of bringing forward Naby Keita to Anfield have been boosted after RB Leipzig softened their stance, according to reports in Germany.
The dynamic midfielder has already agreed a £48m move to Liverpool next summer and is effectively on loan at Leipzig, though the Reds have been trying to bring forward the deal following Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona.
The Brazilian’s departure has left a hole in midfield, though Leipzig – who are challenging for a top three finish and place in the Champions League – were adamant Keita would not leave in January. But now Bild claim that Leipzig’s attitude has changed and they are open to letting the 22-year-old leave now, but only if they receive a sum between £13m and £17.5m.
If Liverpool pay the upper end of that levy, it would make Keita the second most expensive midfielder ever signed by a Premier League club behind only Manchester United’s deal for Paul Pogba.
Leipzig are already out of the Champions League and Keita would be ineligible to play in Europe were he to move to Liverpool in January. However, Jurgen Klopp is keen to get the Guinean into his squad as soon as possible so he can adapt to the Reds’ style of play, and believe he would be a huge asset in the Premier League in the wake of Coutinho’s departure.