WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 4, 2023: Liverpool's Naby Keita during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool rejected deadline-day Naby Keita deal as likely next club emerges

Despite Naby Keita only having months left on his contract, Liverpool are claimed to have rejected a bid for their No. 8 in the last transfer window.

Having entered the final six months of his deal on the turn of the year, and with no extension forthcoming, Keita is expected to depart on a free transfer in July.

It will mark the end of a five-year spell with hints of promise and plenty of disappointment, and potentially cut short a run in the side where the Guinean has re-established his importance.

Keita has started each of the last four games for Liverpool, his longest such run since October 2021, but that is unlikely to change the situation.

According to German publication BILD, the 28-year-old was subject of a failed bid from RB Leipzig on deadline day last month, with it “very possible” they revive their pursuit in the summer.

That means the Reds turned down a fee for the midfielder five months before he leaves for nothing, with Jurgen Klopp clearly not willing to lose a senior player despite the financial implication.

Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenberg has already reported that clubs in Germany are interested in a free-agent deal for Keita, with Galatasaray ruled out.

The Mirror, meanwhile, have claimed an exclusive in AC Milan’s interest.

Leipzig's Naby Keita (L) celebrates after scoring the 0-1 lead with team-mate Timo Werner during the Bundesliga soccer match between Hamburg SV and RB Leipzig in the Volksparkstadium in Hamburg, Germany, 08 September 2017. Photo: Daniel Reinhardt/dpa

It stands to reason that Leipzig would look to re-sign the player they sold to Liverpool for £52.25 million in 2018, having already agreed the return of Timo Werner last summer.

Keita and Werner struck up a formidable partnership in their previous stint together at the Red Bull Arena, and they could rekindle that flame next season.

Leipzig are set to lose Konrad Laimer at the end of the campaign, with the all-action Austrian a player they will desperately need to replace.

Dortmund have also been credited with an interest in Keita, and with Jude Bellingham feted to leave – and potentially to Liverpool – he could potentially take up a key role at the Westfalenstadion.

Much is up in the air at this stage when it comes to the No. 8, but as it stands it seems unlikely that he will stay on Merseyside beyond this season.