Liverpool have made no secret of their interest in bringing coveted RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita to Merseyside this summer and while the story has been doing the rounds in the tabloids for some time now, rumours that the Reds are prepared to break the bank to prise the Guinean away from the Bundesliga runners-up has been gaining considerable traction in the more mainstream realms of the media.
The Saxony club, for their part, remain insistent that the 22-year old — who has already turned down a new deal — will not be sold this summer, but their resolve could only go so far. The scuttlebutt is that an offer somewhere in the region of £70mil would see them take an altogether different approach, but it’s far more likely that an opening salvo of around £50mil will get them talking with some German football pundits believing it’s a matter of when, not if, he makes the move to Merseyside.
“I’ve heard Liverpool will definitely sign Keita and Leipzig are now just trying to get as much as possible for the player,” said Bundesliga expert Lee Price. “Keita caught Jurgen Klopp’s attention immediately upon arriving in Germany – scoring the winner against Dortmund on his debut for Leipzig. At the minute, Leipzig are playing hardball, but have already begun moves to replace Keita,” explained the pundit. “Personal terms have been agreed with the player, who will offer an energetic midfield option which is capable of dictating the play. His agility will suit Klopp’s high press, while his technical skill will provide someone who can carve a defence open.”
Now that would sound like a whole lot of nothing had the German club not signed a player being touted as a potential replacement for Keita in Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Konrad Laimer. The capture of the Austrian, who will walk the familiar path between the two sister clubs, was announced by Leipzig on Friday. When it comes to the silly season there’s often a whole lot of smoke and not a lot of fire to be had, but this feeds the flames in a real big way. Considering the fact that he’s already planning for life away from Saxony, this could get real interesting real fast.
More on this as it progresses…