Liverpool fans have yet again been teased by the prospect of Naby Keita arriving at Anfield earlier than first anticipated.
The RB Leipzig midfielder agreed a deal to join the Reds in the summer, with the terms set to see him officially sign at the beginning of July 2018.
A premium was paid by Liverpool along with his release clause in order to strike an early arrangement, and there has since been speculation suggesting he could arrive as soon as January.
Though this seems unlikely, Bundesliga expert Lee Price has refuelled such rumours and hinted at the possibility of a second premium being paid.
“I revealed back in June that Keita had agreed terms with Liverpool – and there’s a chance he could move earlier,” Price told the Daily Express.
“Firstly, don’t get carried away – at the minute it’s only a slim chance and there are no agreements in place, except the one for Keita to move next summer.”
“But there’s always been talk that, depending on Leipzig’s domestic and Champions League progress, Liverpool could pay a further premium to get the midfielder early.”
“If Leipzig lose on Tuesday, expect Liverpool to hold more talks to discuss whether a January deal could be done.”
“A win, on the other hand, would severely hamper any chances of Keita moving early as Leizpig won’t want one of their star players going anywhere.”
A focus towards Tuesdays as a potentially key date relates to Leipzig’s Champions League group stage clash with Beşiktaş.
The German side’s reluctance to sell Keita this year stems from their desire to have the Guinean available for their maiden campaign in European club football’s most prestigious competition.
According to Price, Liverpool could begin to negotiate an earlier deal if Leipzig struggle to get out of their group.
That said, it would be wrong to get any hopes up at this point.