Christian Falk has confirmed in his latest exclusive column for CaughtOffside that Naby Keita is ‘more likely’ to depart Liverpool in the summer than sign a contract extension with his current employers.
The Guinean international is set to be one of three midfield exits for the Reds with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner’s terms set to expire at the end of the season.
“I think it’s more likely that Naby Keïta will leave Liverpool [rather than sign a new contract]. He’s with the same agency [ROOF] as Sadio Mané and the agency has already said, as was the case with Mané, that he won’t sign a new contract,” the journalist wrote.
“He’s a free agent in the summer and it’s worth remembering that RB Leipzig knocked on the door for the midfielder in January.
“I think there’s a good chance of Leipzig signing the player. Keïta is playing at Liverpool but could get a good place in the Leipzig team.
“It seems like a bit of a business model for Leipzig to sell their players to English clubs in big deals before later bringing them back cheaply. We’ve seen this with Timo Werner who left for Chelsea in a €53m deal – they got him back two years later €20m. They sold Keïta to Liverpool for €60m and now they can get him as a free agent. It would be a good deal for Leipzig and Keïta can see there being playing opportunities for him back in Germany.”
This will leave Jurgen Klopp with only Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Stefan Bajcetic (Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho could rightly be considered as contenders for the midfield though their long-term positions aren’t currently considered fixed to the middle of the park).
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Taking into consideration how both the Merseysiders’ No.14 and No.3 have suffered remarkable falls from grace, there’s a clear need for the club to take a quality and quantity-led approach in the market when it comes to plugging gaps.
In the meantime, of course, there’s no question it would be a shame to see the No.8 leave Anfield after never truly living up to the billing as a Steven Gerrard heir following a big-money switch to L4.
Injuries have no doubt played a significant part in that and an exit this summer will very well leave decision-makers at Anfield scratching their heads and wondering what could have been.
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