Liverpool have been offered a hint of reassurance that a move for RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita remains to be a possibility in the future.
The Reds have endured a frustrating battle to seal a deal for the Guinean and have seen their efforts continuously knocked back by the Bundesliga side, who have refused to budge from their stance that the player is not for sale.
An initial offer of £57million was rejected for Keita, before Liverpool’s second bid of £66million was similarly rebuffed, leading the club to strongly considering whether a third attempt would be at all worthwhile.
That question appears to have been answered with Liverpool now having given up their current pursuit of the midfielder after receiving little encouragement that Leipzig are willing to alter their approach, according to the Daily Mail’s Dominic King.
The same report has also suggested, though, that it is ‘highly likely’ Keita will move to Anfield next summer when the Reds are able to activate his £48million release clause.
While the prospect of securing him at the end of next season is promising, there is also the worrying inevitability that other teams join the race for his signature.
One intriguing factor to the latest development is who the club will now turn to as alternatives to Keita during this transfer window.
Turning a focus towards Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk will undoubtedly become the club’s main priority for now, with the Dutchman representing Jurgen Klopp’s one and only centre-back target.
Sign Van Dijk and keep Philippe Coutinho out of Barcelona’s clutches and Liverpool should be good to go. As for Keita, the Reds will be back.