Liverpool to open discussions over Naby Keita

Liverpool will open discussions with RB Leipzig in a bid to fast-track Naby Keita’s move to Anfield.

The Reds already have a deal in place to buy the Guinea midfielder this summer but they are prepared to pay an additional fee to get him six months early.

Jurgen Klopp believes securing the services of Keita during the January window would be the perfect fillip for his squad following the £142million sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

Sources close to the player have indicated that Keita is keen to complete the transfer now rather than see out the rest of the season as planned with Leipzig.

However, despite reports in Germany that the Bundesliga outfit have demanded an extra £13million, the ECHO understands that Liverpool have not been quoted a price.

Liverpool want to maintain good relations with Leipzig and if sporting director Ralf Rangnick sticks to his stance that Keita will stay put until the summer then the current agreement will be respected.

Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhüttl reiterated today that he believes the 22-year-old is going nowhere until the end of the season. “There’s no reason to let Keita go now, and that’s the end of it,” he said.

If Leipzig have a change of heart and are prepared to let Keita leave during the current window then the final decision over whether Liverpool meet their financial demands will rest with Klopp.

The size of the fee will be balanced against the benefits of having Keita in the second half of the season.

He wouldn’t be eligible to play in the Champions League knockout stages but would be able to feature in the Premier League and the FA Cup.

The situation is complicated by the complex nature of the deal the two clubs struck back in August.

Liverpool would only say they had paid a premium on top of Keita’s £48million release clause.

However, a source close to the deal told the ECHO that Liverpool will pay Leipzig 75million Euros (£66.8million) if the German club qualify for the Champions League this season and 65million Euros (£57.9million) if they miss out on the top four.

Leipzig are currently fifth in the Bundesliga but are level on points with third placed Borussia Dortmund.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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