Liverpool are in talks to sign Naby Keita six months early but an agreement with RB Leipzig is yet to be agreed.
Rumours in Germany have insinuated that Keita’s last game for Leipzig will be played this weekend against Schalke before he finally moves to Merseyside to join the Reds.
Having said that, the Liverpool ECHO reports that there is no agreement in place yet after initial discussions between sporting directors Michael Edwards and Ralf Rangnick failed to produce anything concrete.
Jurgen Klopp is keen to explore the possibility of Keita joining Liverpool six months early and the mere fact that Leipzig are even negotiating suggests that they are open to letting him leave.
James Pearce writes that Keita is “desperate” to move to Liverpool and help plug the gap left by Coutinho’s mega-money move to Barcelona.
Liverpool are willing to pay an additional premium to sign the player early but Leipzig are trying to convince him to stay until the end of the season to help them secure Champions League football and possibly a decent placing in the Europa League.
The deal that the Reds signed in August will see Keita join the club for £66.8 million if Leipzig can finish in the top four or £57.9 million if they fail to qualify for the Champions League again.
Pearce writes: “Speculation that Leipzig are about to relent and grant Keita his wish was fuelled by the player registering a private company called ‘NK8 Limited’ to a London address with Companies House this week. Keita and his agent Bjorn Bezemer are listed as directors.”
Signing Keita early would be the ideal way to replace Coutinho with the Guinean described as the perfect fit for the way that Klopp plays.
With his energy and box to box running, couple with his dribbling and penetrative passing, Keita is the ideal man to replace Coutinho this month and Liverpool have to get a deal done.