Jurgen Klopp has seen enough from one Liverpool star and has ‘ordered him to begin to look for a new team’ ahead of a summer switch, per a report.
The Reds have a transfer success rate that is the envy of most clubs in England. Aided by Michael Edwards, Klopp has been provided with a series of signings that on the whole, have been huge successes.
However, the odd disappointment is inevitable, and even the most ardent of Liverpool fans would have expected more from £52.75m man Naby Keita.
Liverpool paid a premium to land the Guinea midfielder one year early in August 2017. But since moving to Anfield the following summer, Keita has consistently struggled to make his mark.
Now, Spanish outlet El Nacional state Klopp and Liverpool are prepared to admit defeat over Keita.
Klopp behind Keita decision
They state Keita ‘will’ be among Liverpool’s departures next summer. Klopp is apparently behind the decision, with the German ‘ordering’ Keita to ‘begin to look for a new team’. Their headline also reads Klopp ‘doesn’t want him in Liverpool’ any more.
Keita’s contract expires in the summer of 2023. If the Reds have no desire to offer an extension, selling next summer would make make sense if they are determined to recoup a sizeable fee.
From the player’s end, Keita is stated to be accepting of his fate. The article notes he has ‘begun studying the calls’ his agent has received regarding his future.
Liverpool shortlist Bukayo Saka as a summer target
Reports suggest Arsenal and England forward Bukayo Saka would be willing to move to Liverpool, if the chance arose.
A fee in the region of €30m (approx. £25m) is listed as required to seal a deal and West Ham, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Roma are all namechecked as potential suitors.
However, it is Barcelona who are deemed to be in ‘pole position’ at present.
Xavi’s side may be in need of a direct replacement for Frenkie de Jong if the Dutchman departs. At 26, Keita is deemed a worthy successor and his all-action play-style has caught manager Xavi’s eye.
Man Utd move has knock-on Liverpool effect
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s decision to loan Axel Tuanzebe to Napoli will impact the future of one Liverpool star, according to his agent.
24-year-old Tuanzebe is closing in on a six-month loan to the Serie A side, according to BBC Sport. The temporary switch comes after he was recalled by United from Aston Villa.
Tuanzebe will fill Napoli’s need for a new centre-back. They had been linked with Liverpool defender Nat Phillips. However, the centre-half will no longer be moving to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Phillips’ agent, Colin Murdock, has also managed Tuanzebe in the past.
He told Area Napoli, via Sport Witness: “Napoli have taken Axel Tuanzebe, our former client, on loan, so I think they have finished their operations as regards to the role of central defender.
“Therefore, I don’t think we need further comments on Nat Phillips.”