Liverpool are ready to play the long game in their pursuit of Naby Keita by shelving their interest until next year when the player's supposed £48million release clause kicks in report the Telegraph.

The Reds have becoming increasingly pessimistic over their chances of concluding the long-running transfer saga this summer and are now preparing to put their plans on hold.

Liverpool have seen successive offers for the 22-year-old rejected by his club RB Leipzig and do not intend to up their last bid of £66million.

Anfield chiefs initially came in with a £57million package which was turned down before coming back with their improved deal but the Bundesliga outfit have remained steadfast that they don't want to part with their most prized asset this year.

The German side, who are preparing for their debut campaign in the Champions League, have insisted all along that the Guinean international is not for sale.

Keita himself is believed to be keen on the move to Merseyside and Liverpool reckon they'll be at the front of the queue to land him in 12 months time.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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