Michael Mongie discusses Naby Keïta, Liverpool’s pursuit of the Guinean midfielder and the £48 million release clause in his contract.

Jürgen Klopp has been desperately trying to recruit RB Leipzig’s Naby Keïta this summer and after the Reds had two bids rejected for the midfielder, it would appear as though Liverpool will wait until next summer to sign their man.

I hear you ask: “Will it be any different next summer?”

The answer, in essence, is no. RB Leipzig will likely still be unwilling to sell a player whose stock is only likely to rise further, cementing his place in European football as one of the best midfielders.

You ask another question: “What will have changed then?”

Keïta has a £48 million release clause in his contract which is set to be activated next summer and although Leipzig have rejected two bids this summer worth £57m and £66m respectively, Liverpool can sign him in a year’s time for just under £50m.

A bargain, really.

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Yesterday, Chris Bascombe reported that Liverpool will likely shelve their interest in Keïta and will wait until next season to pursue the midfielder with Leipzig’s hardball stance over the midfielder proving impossible to overcome.

Paul Joyce today reports much of the same as the Times reporter writes, “Klopp is now considering moves for other midfield targets in the knowledge that Keïta has a £48 million escape clause which can be triggered in 2018.”

Who these midfield alternatives are is unknown but one thing seems blatantly obvious, Liverpool will be looking elsewhere when reinforcing their midfield ranks this summer.

Leon Goretzka has been widely touted as an option for Liverpool and Rousing the Kop’s Jack Hallows would love Renato Sanches to join the Reds, but it is definitely more important for a centre-back to be recruited with Virgil van Dijk highly linked with a summer move to Anfield.

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It’s a bit surprising that a club like RB Leipzig, so clearly motivated by business sense, would turn down the opportunity to make a huge profit after only paying €15 million for Keïta a year ago.

The 22-year-old has a release clause in his contract worth £48 million and can be activated next summer. Although, it’s not inconceivable that Liverpool will miss out on the Guinean to the likes of Bayern Munich who are said to be biding their time until the player’s release clause kicks in and they can swoop in.

The common consensus among supporters is that if Liverpool really want to sign Naby Keïta then it’s a case of now or never.

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