Premier League • England

Liverpool reach Naby Keita decision that leaves them open to repeating embarrassing Man Utd mistake

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita

Liverpool won’t sell Naby Keita this summer with a new report dismissing claims he is unhappy, though the Reds’ plan leaves them vulnerable to repeating a Man Utd mistake.

Liverpool’s strategy this summer has been one of ‘retain and refresh’. The refresh part saw Darwin Nunez replace Sadio Mane in the forward line. Fabio Carvalho will also hoover up the minutes that once went to Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino.

The retain element revolved around tying several important first-teamers down to fresh terms. The highest profile in that regard was Mohamed Salah who penned an extension keeping him at Anfield until 2025.

Joe Gomez, Harvey Elliott and Diogo Jota have all extended their stays, while talks with Naby Keita were opened.

However, according to Sky Germany reporter, Florian Plettenberg, progress with the Guinea international had come to a screeching halt.

He tweeted Keita has become unhappy with his situation at Anfield, leading to reservations over signing a new deal.

That also prompted speculation Liverpool could sanction a late summer sale to avoid losing him for free next summer. His current deal expires in June, 2023.

Keita has never justified his lofty £52.5m price tag since arriving from RB Leipzig in 2018. Injuries have prevented him from building up rhythm, though the Reds were keen on forging a new agreement nonetheless.

Goal report former club Leipzig are among a host of European sides watching closely. However, they also report the claims Keita is unhappy are untrue, and if he is, Liverpool certainly haven’t been made aware of it.

In stark contrast to Plettenberg’s claims, Goal add Liverpool have no intention of severing ties this summer. What’s more, they state talks over a new deal between the club and Keita’s representative, Bjorn Bezemer, are still taking place.

Keita strategy risks Pogba repeat

Liverpool want Keita to commit to a new four-year deal that would keep him at Anfield until age 31.

As such, they will not entertain any offers that emerge while contract talks are in play, though that could leave them vulnerable to repeating a costly Manchester United mistake.

Bitter rivals Man Utd lost £89m signing Paul Pogba for nothing this summer after letting the Frenchman’s contract run down. That was widely viewed as yet another piece of bad business by the Red Devils.

If a Keita breakthrough doesn’t come, he’ll be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs come January 1.

While Keita cost £52.5m compared to Pogba’s £89m, losing players in the primes of their careers for nothing that were also bought for such lofty sums can only be described as grave mistakes.