- Reports of Naby Keita agreement are denied
- Liverpool in talks with RB Leipzig over deal to sign midfielder earlier
- Guinean agreed contract in summer, with July 1 outlined as scheduled arrival date
- SEE MORE: Klopp confirms huge fitness boost for Liverpool ahead of Man City clash
Social media’s concoction of misguided, misinterpreted and downright unreliable rumours demanded clarification surrounding Liverpool’s pursuit of Naby Keita.
This of course being the club’s second attempt to sign the Guinean, having already agreed a deal in principle in August that saw July 2018 pencilled in as his scheduled Anfield arrival.
Philippe Coutinho’s £142million move to Barcelona triggered a domino effect, with Liverpool subsequently stepping up their efforts to secure Keita’s services six months early.
RB Leipzig’s supposedly softened stance has since seen reports accelerate, with a number of sources hinting at an imminent announcement.
Despite such claims, talks between the two clubs remain ongoing and an agreement is yet to be reached, according to the Liverpool Echo’s reliable James Pearce.
Leipzig are understandably reluctant to part ways with Keita midway through the season as they themselves continue to fight for Champions League qualification.
£13million has been touted as the additional fee required to bring the deal forward, although the Bundesliga club remain keen on convincing Keita to stay put until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old’s desire to make the move now could prove key, especially when considering the impact Coutinho’s matching wish had on his switch to the Nou Camp.
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool’s January transfer plans hinge on the outcome of negotiations over Keita.
Supporters have ever right to expect a search for a Coutinho replacement having been under the impression the Brazilian would be at the club until the summer.