Naby Keita is due to discuss his future with current club RB Leipzig this week, with the midfielder setting his sights on a move to Liverpool.
Keita has risen to the top of Jurgen Klopp‘s list of targets this summer, after a breakthrough campaign that saw him fuel Leipzig’s second-placed Bundesliga finish.
The 22-year-old scored eight and assisted eight despite playing an all-round role in midfield, with his energy, tenacity and technical quality highlighting him as a top-level talent.
This has seen Leipzig take a hardline stance with suitors so far this summer, however, with the Red Bull-financed club valuing Keita at £70 million.
But the Reds have not been deterred by this substantial price tag, with Klopp determined to sign the No. 8 before the start of 2017/18.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Keita is set for “showdown talks” with Leipzig this week, as he pushes to leave the Red Bull Arena.
A deal would still hinge on whether Leipzig agree to sell, which would depend on Keita’s conviction during discussions.
The club could even have already hinted that Keita could be set to depart, with the midfielder not included in the promotional campaign for their new home kit:
Leipzig unleashed ???
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) July 3, 2017
It would be wise not to read too much into this—particularly as Emil Forsberg, another player pushing for a move away this summer, is involved—but Keita is certainly one of the star names at Leipzig.
Liverpool are said to be “prepared to shatter their transfer record” to sign Keita, and Klopp is “desperate to sign him now rather than wait another 12 months.”
Keita would be the ideal addition to Klopp’s midfield ranks, with the Guinean able to operate in a variety of roles, ready to shine in the Premier League.
That the Reds are seemingly willing to meet Leipzig’s valuation indicates just how much Klopp rates him.