Naby Keita has told Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp he will do all he can to help the Reds win the race for Germany striker Timo Werner this summer.
The 22-year-old RB Leipzig striker has delayed a decision over his future, and with his contract due to expire in summer 2020, he is likely to be sold by the Bundesliga club this summer.
In December Bild reported that Jurgen Klopp was weighing up a move for Werner, and now Keita – who played with the striker for two seasons at Leipzig, has weighed in on the speculation linking him with a move to Liverpool.
“We played very well together in Leipzig, and he was one of my best friends there,” Keita said in quotes in BuLi News relayed from an interview with Sport Bild.
“It’s clear: if he’ll be on the move, I’ll ask Timo to join us here at Liverpool.”
Keita moved to Merseyside in a £52.75m deal last summer but the 23-year-old has had issues with form and fitness since the move and has struggled to earn a regular start under Klopp.
While it comes as no surprise that the midfielder would like Liverpool to bring in Werner, there has been no confirmation from either club that Liverpool’s interest in Werner is genuine.
But with his contract due to expire in 17 months time, it would come as no shock to see Klopp target a move for the 22-year-old Germany striker, with a fee of around €40m being mooted this summer.
The Reds are likely to be in the market for a new centre forward – Daniel Sturridge is expected to leave at the end of his contract and was on Tuesday linked with Tottenham – and Werner would appear to fit the bill.
However, Ralf Rangnick believes Werner must be wary of joining Keita in the Premier League, with the Leipzig boss pointing to the struggles of the Guinean as a reason why he should think twice about the move.
He told Sky in Germany, via Buli News: “Keita was an outstanding player here, but he’s still struggling in Liverpool.
“So far, he’s not the player there that he was here. The surroundings must be right for Timo. That’s the case here.”
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