Naby Keita set for ‘further talks’ with RB Leipzig to stress interest in Liverpool move

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Liverpool target Naby Keita is reportedly set to meet with RB Leipzig officials once again this week, as the midfielder pushes for a move.

The 22-year-old is Jurgen Klopp‘s most high-profile target this summer, with the Reds manager determined to get the deal across the line.

Keita enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with Leipzig in 2016/17, scoring eight and assisting eight in 31 games in the Bundesliga, and would improve Klopp’s starting lineup significantly.

As a result, reports on Thursday night suggested Liverpool had made a £57 million bid for the Guinean, which was rejected out of hand by Leipzig.

However, according to Goal‘s Melissa Reddy, Keita is due for talks with his current club as the potential for a move to Merseyside increases.

Reddy claims that Keita “is expected to respectfully reiterate his desire to leave,” having already rebuffed Leipzig’s offer of an improved contract.

Furthermore, though sporting director Ralf Rangnick is adamant Keita won’t leave this summer, “sources in Germany reveal his stance is not fully supported within the club.”

“There is growing pressure to make a smart business decision,” Reddy reports, with Leipzig’s stance “slowly eroding privately.”

Liverpool are said to be prepared to make an improved offer when Leipzig indicate they are willing to negotiate, with Keita valued at £70 million.

Leipzig's Naby Keita thanks the fans after the German Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, Germany, 23 October 2016. PHOTO: Jan Woitas/dpa

That Leipzig’s approach to Keita’s future looks to be changing is a major positive for the Reds, with Klopp taking an all-or-nothing approach with his summer targets.

The German is said to have no alternative to the No. 8, despite previous links with Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and last summer, Mahmoud Dahoud and Piotr Zielinski.

Keita would bolster a midfield group that also includes Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum, Marko Grujic and Ovie Ejaria.

Philippe Coutinho is also expected to drop back into a deeper role in the middle of the park, but both Lucas Leiva and Kevin Stewart are likely to leave the club this summer.

The Reds have taken a similar stance with reinforcing their centre-back ranks, with Southampton‘s Virgil van Dijk the priority target this summer.

Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly was mooted as a possible alternative, but speculation has quickly faded, while links with Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij lack conviction.

The pursuit of Keita will be one to watch as the summer plays out, but indications are that this is a deal Liverpool can complete closer to their season opener away to Watford on August 12.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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