Klopp makes big signal of intent as talks open over Liverpool star with point to prove

Date published: Friday 17th September 2021 8:31 - Jonny Whitfield

Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Matt Ritchie

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has entered discussions over a new contract at Anfield amid his overall struggle for form, a report claims.

The Guinea international arrived as the Reds’ club-record signing in 2019 from RB Leipzig. But while he has shown flashes of his talent, he has largely failed to properly settle. Indeed, injury problems have continually denied him runs of games.

However, Keita enjoyed a strong pre-season this summer and has remained fully fit so far this term.

In fact, he has started three matches including Wednesday’s Champions League win over AC Milan.

Like many of his team-mates who have albeit since signed fresh contracts – such as Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson – Keita’s contract runs out in the summer of 2023.

According to Calciomercato, though, he is on his way to potentially agreeing an extension like his colleagues.

The Italian source claims that Keita is ‘negotiating the renewal of his contract’ with the club. However, the report offers no more details, such as whether negotiations are going well.

Keita is one of five players whose Liverpool contracts run out in 2023. Indeed, Mohamed Salah’s future has particularly been in the spotlight, given his consistent form and links with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

However, his strike partners Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have also entered the penultimate year of their deals.

Finally, Keita’s fellow midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contract runs until the end of the 2022/23 season.

The two midfielders have points to prove amid their struggles for consistent minutes under manager Jurgen Klopp.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has also suffered injury issues, but his have proved more long-term than Keita’s problems.

Klopp admits ‘difficult’ Van Dijk talks

Jurgen Klopp with Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool training

However, one Liverpool player who is happy to be back in the team is Virgil van Dijk.

The centre-back has returned from a serious knee injury and looks somewhere back to his best.

Still, Klopp chose to play Joe Gomez alongside Joel Matip against Milan, opting to rest Van Dijk.

The manager admitted that he found it hard to tell the Dutchman he would not be playing in his side’s opening Champions League game of the season.


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