Liverpool will need to break the Bundesliga transfer record to sign Naby Keïta while it remains to be seen whether Virgil van Dijk is happy at Southampton or if he will force a move through.
Jürgen Klopp has returned to Melwood this week and it is a vastly different situation to that he had last season where a few of his summer signings had already arrived.
Although Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke have been confirmed as Liverpool players, the German manager would want the majority of his squad in place already as he prepares his side for a pivotal season in his tenure as manager of Liverpool Football Club.
Naby Keïta, one of Liverpool’s most important targets for the summer, will also be one of the most difficult to secure.
Yet Klopp knew this from the outset.
“I wish we could bring in the players tomorrow but, unfortunately, that isn’t really likely,” Klopp admitted after a post-season friendly in Sydney.
According to Melissa Reddy, Liverpool will need to break the Bundesliga transfer record to have any chance of tempting RB Leipzig to let Naby Keïta go this summer.
RBL have told the Guinean that he is not for sale, while also making that sentiment public. Yet, there is a belief that the German side will cave if Keïta hands in a transfer request and Reddy reports that he is “open to an exit to fulfil the career trajectory he has envisioned for himself.”
Having said that, Leipzig are confident they can hold onto Keïta as well as all their other key players.
What makes them strong in their resolve is their second place finish in the Bundesliga last season, their strong financial situation as well as their ambition to rise up among Europe’s elite.
Liverpool will only submit an offer, according to Reddy, once “there is confidence that the player wants to move, and importantly, that his club are open to doing business.”
As far as Virgil van Dijk is concerned, Melissa Reddy points towards player power as being the outstanding factor in any potential deal between Liverpool and Southampton for the Dutch defender.
The Goal reporter writes, “it remains to be seen whether he accepts that his future is at St Mary’s or if he struggles to shake off the desire of wanting to advance his career elsewhere.”
And that is the crux of the situation. If van Dijk decides he unequivocally cannot play at Southampton anymore, Liverpool could stake their claim officially rather than in the manner they approached the player.
Liverpool have reconvened at Melwood and with preseason training recommencing ahead of their first game of the summer with Tranmere Rovers in a week’s time, Klopp will be anxious to have more of his transfer business done and dusted.
Having said that, I am confident we won’t see any of the rushed business and panicked negotiating which saw Liverpool sign Andy Carroll and Christian Benteke in recent years.
Klopp will get the players that he wants and if he misses out on his ideal targets, he tends to make do with some pretty good backups.
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