A big money Liverpool flop reportedly keen to bring his Anfield nightmare to an end has seen an ambitious escape route hit a dead end.
Liverpool finished their campaign with a flourish to avert disaster and nab a place in next season’s Champions League. While the season did not meet initial expectations, it is hard to argue it did not end a success given their perilous predicament in February and March.
A key factor behind the Reds’ return to prominence in the English game has been their near-perfect record in the transfer market.
The one notable miss, however, is Guinea midfielder, Naby Keita.
The 26-year-old arrived to much fanfare from RB Leipzig in 2018 after Liverpool opted to pay his release clause early.
Since moving to Anfield, Keita has endured what can only be described as a torrid three years. Reccurent injuries have hampered his progress, but even when afforded opportunity to impress, Keita has failed to deliver.
A report last week divulged the strain in his relationship with Klopp amid rumours of his strong desire to leave.
Keita was not named in the squad for any of Liverpool’s last five matches last season. The four previous games saw him deployed as an unused substitute.
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With Liverpool seemingly in no rush to use him and Keita angling for a move, reports surfaced of an ambitious plot to join Atletico Madrid.
Unsurprisingly, that potential move has been dismissed by the Spanish champions according to Sport Witness.
They reveal that the proposed offer was ‘turned down by Atletico‘. Adding insult to injury, Diego Simeone’s side are said to have ‘no interest’ in signing him whatsoever.
Keita cost Liverpool an initial £52.75m and has another two years remaining on his current contract.
Liverpool in pole position after transfer collapses
Meanwhile, Liverpool are reportedly closing in on a deal to sign highly-rated teenager Abdul Fatawu Issahaku after his “disrespectful” agent caused a transfer elsewhere to collapse.
The Reds had initial links with a move for the Ghanaian last week. However, Leverkusen have dramatically pulled out due to the actions of Issahaku’s agent.
The report claims that the agent cancelled his final meeting with Leverkusen on Wednesday – over sealing a deal – at short notice.
Later, it emerged that they had still maintained contact with Liverpool on the same day. In fact, Kicker says that the agent had been in further talks with Basel, Anderlecht, RB Salzburg and Ajax since March.
The aim was to ‘drive up’ their client’s price. As a result, the agent has seemingly put ‘less importance’ over where the player ends up. Instead, he appears to be in favour of sealing the best deal.
In the end, though, Goal now reports that Liverpool are closing in on his signing.
The Reds look increasingly likely to add the highly-rated talent to their academy ranks. However, the report does not state when they expect the deal to go through.