Borussia Dortmund have identified Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita as the man to fill Jude Bellingham’s shoes in their midfield.
Keita is set to be a free agent this summer, while Bellingham is on his way out of Dortmund. With Liverpool having eyes on a potential new No.8, Sports BILD report that the German club are plotting a move for the man who currently wears the shirt at Anfield.
Dortmund are said to have registered interest in signing Keita on a free transfer last Autumn. It’s claimed that he’s on a two-man list to replace Bellingham, along with Eintracht Frankfurt’s Daichi Kamada.
They’re not the only Bundesliga side interested, though. Keita’s former side RB Leipzig are also said to be keen on the Guinean. Leipzig even reportedly tried to sign the Liverpool man in January, but Jurgen Klopp supposedly did not let Keita leave.
That won’t be a problem this summer, with Naby out of contract. It’s claimed that the 28-year-old does not want to renew with Liverpool and prefers a return to Germany, where he shone with Leipzig. Without a transfer fee, he’ll reportedly be asking for a £6m yearly wage package.
Keita and Bellingham trading places
If Dortmund do end up swapping Bellingham for Keita, they’ll hopefully be doing the exact opposite of Liverpool. After five years at Anfield, the Reds need to trade Naby in for a younger model.
It would seemingly go against Dortmund’s policy of signing up young players with potentially huge sell-on fees. But it wouldn’t necessarily be the worst swap in the world for them.
At his best, Keita can do something of a similar job to Bellingham. He doesn’t have the legs that the England man does and isn’t as physically imposing, but he’s a nice little box-to-box player on his day.
On a free transfer, he’s definitely worth a gamble. Given that they’re set to bank over £100m on Bellingham, they’d have plenty of money left to play with in the market, too.
For Liverpool fans, it would be a little frustrating to see Keita go somewhere else and shine after his injury-hit Anfield stay. But at the same time, it would nice to see the £48m man realise the potential he’s always had.
If Liverpool end up getting Bellingham, the frustration over Keita will surely dissipate. Should this potential swap happen, the Reds will surely be getting the better end of the deal.
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