Liverpool target Naby Keita has reportedly told RB Leipzig he is looking to leave the club, in his second meeting with representatives on Wednesday.
Keita has become the key focus of the Reds’ transfer activity in recent weeks, following the £36.9 million signing of Mohamed Salah from AS Roma.
The 22-year-old is valued at around £70 million, but that has seemingly not deterred Liverpool, who were said to be preparing an offer for the Bundesliga side.
Last week, Guinean journalist Amadou Makadji claimed that Jurgen Klopp had spoken to Keita about a possible move to Merseyside, before the Reds approached Leipzig on Sunday evening.
This was later corroborated by the Times‘ Paul Joyce, who went on to confirm his source as Makadji in an interview with The Anfield Wrap.
Now, Makadji has reported that Keita has met with Leipzig on two occasions this week, with the latest coming on Wednesday.
Keita is said to have “reiterated his desire” to join Liverpool this summer, with Leipzig now forced to make a decision over whether to sell their No. 8.
This could provide the Reds with the breakthrough they needed to move forward in negotiations, with Keita making it clear to Leipzig that he wishes to leave.
On Tuesday, however, Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff described speculation over Keita’s future as “boring,” suggesting the Champions League newcomers are not willing to part ways with the midfielder.
But as highlighted by German publication BILD, Keita’s situation mirrors that of Sadio Mane when he was with Leipzig’s sister-club, Red Bull Salzburg, in 2014.
Mane, who shares an agent with Keita, ultimately forced through a £10 million move to Southampton, despite Salzburg’s sporting director Ralf Rangnick stressing he was not for sale.
Rangnick is now in the same role at Leipzig, and it remains to be seen whether the 59-year-old relents this time around, too.
If Makadji is to be believed, it may be that Leipzig’s resolve is crumbling, and Keita could be on his way to Merseyside this summer.