Euro heavyweight turn to Liverpool man after ex-Arsenal star’s rejection, as Fabrizio Romano confirms move is happening

February 20, 2023 Liverpool's Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott during training

Fabrizio Romano has confirmed a Liverpool misfit’s sorry saga will come to a close this summer, and a European giant are mulling a move after being rejected by a former Arsenal man, per reports.

The upcoming summer at Anfield is already shaping up to be one of the most intriguing in the FSG era. The Reds look certain to miss out on Champions League football next term. Wins for both Newcastle and Man Utd on Wednesday night saw the gap to fourth spot extend to 10 points.

Liverpool could therefore struggle to attract the calibre of player they crave. However, failure to go big in the market could mean this season’s woes become the new norm, rather than a blip.

As many as 11 Liverpool players have been linked with leaving the club this summer. Adrian, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Roberto Firmino may all depart as free agents. The buy option in Arthur Melo’s loan deal will not be triggered.

Elsewhere, Liverpool will listen to offers for Caoimhin Kelleher, Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams and Joel Matip. The Sun claimed reserve right-back Calvin Ramsay will be loaned out.

Today’s update centres around Naby Keita, with Fabrizio Romano reiterating the plan is he’ll leave when his contract expires in June.

The Reds have no plans to offer an extension, meaning the £52.75m signing will leave for nothing after an injury-ravaged five years at Anfield.

Naby Keita “will leave”; link to LaLiga giant surfaces

“Liverpool want a refresh in the midfield, so Naby Keita will leave as free agent,” said Romano (via Caught Offside). “Also the player is ready for new challenge.

“There are some approaches but nothing advanced yet. He wants to take his time over deciding his next move.”

On the subject of those approaches, a report out of Spain (via TheHardTackle), has revealed Atletico Madrid are in the mix.

Diego Simeone’s side are expected to be playing with a meagre transfer budget this summer, according to Marca. As such, a free agent swoop for Keita appeals more than it otherwise might have.

Atletico are deemed to ‘want’ Keita by the report. Simeone is in need of a ‘creative spark’ in the engine room and seemingly believes Keita – if fit – can provide it.

Simeone and Atletico had hoped to lure former Arsenal star Dani Ceballos across Madrid.

Ceballos was previously at the Emirates between 2019-21 over two separate one-year loan deals. He’s currently back at Real Madrid, though barely features and is out of contract at season’s end.

The Hard Tackle note Ceballos has already rejected an approach from Atletico, thus laying the foundations for their interest in Keita.

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