RB Leipzig's Naby Keita in action during the pre season match at the Emirates Stadium, London. 29th July 2017. Photo: David Klein/Sportimage via PA Images

Liverpool want Naby Keita in January with RB Leipzig open to discussions

Naby Keita was set to join Liverpool in the summer—but the departure of Philippe Coutinho means the Reds are trying to bring forward the deal.

The Guinean midfielder has been a key performer for RB Leipzig since joining a year and a half ago, but the 22-year-old will soon be at Anfield.

Until now it had appeared unlikely that Liverpool would be able to secure an earlier arrival, but matters have turned around somewhat.

German outlet Bild report report that RB Leipzig have had a change of heart and are now willing to discuss the move during the winter window.

Liverpool have already agreed a £55 million transfer, but an additional premium will be required to bring him in this month.

Leipzig's Naby Deco Keita ahead of the Champions League soccer match between FC Porto and RB Leipzig in the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, Portugal, 01 November 2017. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

The report suggests €15-20m (around £13-£17.5m) will be needed to sway the Bundesliga team to release Keita early.

Crucially, the player himself has expressed a desire to depart and is now seen as having his head at Anfield, taking English lessons over German and “considered isolated” in the squad.

Leipzig must also generate revenue to meet Financial Fair Play rules, and Champions League qualification for next season is far from certain.

RB Leipzig were knocked out in the group stage of this season’s Champions League, so Keita wouldn’t be able to feature for the Reds in Europe—but he could play a key role in the league to ensure participation once more in 2018/19.

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