Liverpool’s hopes of landing Naby Keita have been boosted after the midfielder reportedly held two meetings with his club RB Leipzig this week.
The Guinean has become Jurgen Klopp’s No 1 transfer target in recent weeks, with Leipzig placing a £70million valuation on the midfielder in an effort to put the Reds off the scent.
Last week, Guinean journalist Amadou Makadji claimed that Jurgen Klopp had spoken to Keita about a possible move to Merseyside, before the Reds approached Leipzig on Sunday evening.
That claim is followed up in The Times and, although Leipzig steadfastly don’t want to sell the player, there is a growing feeling that the Bundesliga outfit could be ready to accept the inevitable.
The paper claims the Leipzig have since held two meetings with the player and his agent in a bid to try and clear the air and convince him to lead their first foray into the Champions League this season.
However, in both meetings – the second of which was reportedly held on Wednesday evening – the player has reportedly made clear in no uncertain terms that he wants to quit the club and move to Liverpool.
Although nothing has been confirmed yet, there is a growing feeling in the German media that Leipzig will be forced into accepting the player’s wishes and negotiating the best possible price they can for Keita.
On Tuesday, however, Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff described speculation over Keita’s future as “boring,” suggesting the Champions League newcomers are not willing to part ways with the midfielder.
But as highlighted by German publication BILD, Keita’s situation mirrors that of Sadio Mane when he was with Leipzig’s sister-club, Red Bull Salzburg, in 2014.
Mane, who shares an agent with Keita, ultimately forced through a £10million move to Southampton, despite Salzburg’s sporting director Ralf Rangnick stressing he was not for sale.
Rangnick is now in the same role at Leipzig, and it remains to be seen whether the 59-year-old relents this time around, too.
If Makadji is to be believed, it may be that Leipzig’s resolve is crumbling, and Keita could be on his way to Merseyside this summer.
The Liverpool No 8 shirt awaits…..