Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has identified Liverpool’s Naby Keita as a transfer target this summer, according to a report.
Few of Jurgen Klopp‘s Anfield signings have proved disappointing, but the midfielder is one of them. The Guinea international has endured several injury problems and subsequently struggled to make an impact. Midfield may be the toughest area at Liverpool to find minutes, but Klopp would have hoped to see Keita impress more.
The 26-year-old has only made 10 Premier League appearances this season and 16 in all competitions.
As a result, reports suggest that Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for their once-club-record signing. What’s more, they are supposedly willing to accept a loss on the £52million signing.
Boss Simeone is considering making the deal for the midfielder his ‘first move’ in this summer’s transfer window.
Keita is also one of the manager’s ‘great wishes’ to reinvigorate his team next season.
Like Liverpool, Atletico have a range of midfield options at their disposal. However, Simeone is reportedly aware that some of his current stars are feeling the effects of a long season.
Furthermore, a new addition could be needed, with Lucas Torreira returning to Arsenal after his loan spell and Hector Herrera’s future uncertain.
From Liverpool’s side, Klopp has supposedly given the club permission to grant Keita’s departure.
The midfielder arrived with an exciting reprring autation, after stas one of the Bundesliga’s best midfielders while at RB Leizpig.
But he has struggled to replicate that form, save for a few fine performances including, for example, his goal and assist in the 3-0 win over Bournemouth last season.
Liverpool told to sell Keita
Meanwhile, pundit Noel Whelan believes that now is the best time for Liverpool to cash in and part ways with Keita.
He said: “When you’ve had a player that you’ve paid a lot of money for but not had the benefits of them through injury or whatever reason, then you’re better trying to offload the player now.
“He’s been a bigger player this season compared to previous years. You’ve got to take a hit, take a loss, there’s no doubt about that.”