Sky Sports reporter Guillem Balague claims that Liverpool will look to sign Naby Keita in January to plug the hole left by Philippe Coutinho.
On Monday, Barcelona announced the £146 million signing of Philippe Coutinho after an agreement was met with Liverpool over a fee.
Although the Reds are being careful not to act rashly this month, it has been mooted by several respectable journos that Jurgen Klopp will try sign Naby Keita early to compensate for the gap left behind by Coutinho.
According to Sky Sport’s Guillem Balague, Liverpool are ready to up the premium offered and agreed on with RB Leipzig for the transfer of Keita.
“I think Liverpool are going to try to offer more money if necessary, call it a loan deal, but they want to offer more money to Leipzig,” Balague said on Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk podcast.
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“Keita is not performing at his best level. He’s only scored a couple of goals, he seems a little bit distant.
“He must have his head somewhere else. This is the kind of deal that is so difficult to understand.”
Keita has struggled for form a little bit this season with it possible that the thought of joining Liverpool in the summer is affecting his play.
Balague continued, “Look at Mbappe for instance. It’s a loan deal but he’s at PSG already and he of course will become the second most expensive player in history in the summer but with Keita I don’t think it really works.
“It’s a decision to be made by Leipzig. Quite clearly Liverpool will try until the last minute to bring him over.
“Apart from that, my understanding is Klopp will look at the market and will see what’s available.
“He’s in a weakened position. They’ve got the money but everybody knows that so I’m not sure they’re in a rush to bring in anybody. Mahrez and Lemar are not targets for Liverpool so we’ll have to see what happens with Keita.”
Signing Keita would mean that Liverpool aren’t left shortchanged this season if they progress further in either or both the FA Cup and the Champions League. It looks unlikely but is certainly well worth a try.