The end is in sight for Naby Keita as a Liverpool player amid claims the Reds are looking to offload him this month as the makeweight in a swap deal for an Inter Milan stalwart.
The Guinean star moved to Anfield in summer 2018, the Reds striking a deal to sign him the previous autumn. The transfer was to ultimately set them back £52.75m in a deal that still sits in fourth on their all-time costliest-ever signings.
Taking the famed No 8 shirt at Anfield, Keita arrived with a big reputation after starring in the Bundesliga for RB Leipzig. However, with injuries absolutely wrecking his time on Merseyside, it is safe to say Keita has proved a major disappointment.
Now in his fifth and final year with Liverpool, Keita has played just 124 times for the club. And with an injury once again delaying his involvement this season until recently, he has just eight appearances to his name.
His deal on Merseyside is due to expire this summer. And despite previous efforts from the Reds to extend that stay, no agreement has been reached.
Assessing his future recently, our transfer expert Graeme Bailey revealed Jurgen Klopp still remains open to him signing an extension.
However, Keita appears determined to move on and make a clean break after a disappointing spell. As a result, it seems their most-expensive ever midfield signing is destined to depart Anfield as a free agent this summer.
That said, reports in Italy claim Liverpool are determined to ensure they don’t lose Keita as a free agent. And instead, reports in Italy claim talks over a swap deal with Inter Milan are gathering pace.
Klopp keen to swap Naby Keita for Marcelo Brozovic
Per CMW, Liverpool are looking to tempt Inter by using Keita as bait for one of their established stars.
And the subject of Klopp’s attention is Croatian destroyer Marcelo Brozovic.
His name is no stranger to Liverpool, having been linked with a move to Anfield last summer.
However, nothing materialised at the time with Liverpool instead focusing, unsuccessfully, on Aurelien Tchouameni.
Now Brozovic is back on their radar – and it seems cash-strapped Inter are willing to do business.
Indeed, per the reports, they value the 30-year-old at £30m.
Keita, given his contract situation, would likely depart for around £12m – £15m. That would leave the Reds needing a relatively small cash adjustment to land on one of European football’s most consistent midfielders over the past six or seven years.
The Croatian’s deal at the San Siro is currently due to expire in summer 2026. However, it seems Inter are willing to let him depart after he fell away from their first-team picture a little this season. Indeed, he has only featured 12 times for the Nerrazzuri this season, missing five games in October with a hamstring issue.
As such, a swap deal may well present an ideal solution for all parties.
Klopp desperately needs midfield reinforcements after seeing his side suffer in that department this season.
As well as Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also set to leave this summer as a free agent. And there are growing reports that James Milner may soon end his illustrious spell on Merseyside. The veteran star turned 37 earlier this month and is also out of contract on June 30.