Liverpool are increasingly pessimistic about their chances of signing RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita this summer and are ready to shelve their interest until next year.
After seeing successive bids rejected for the 22-year-old Guinea international, Liverpool do not intend to increase their last offer of £66 million.
Instead – unless there is major u-turn from the Bundesliga side and willingness to re-open negotiations – Liverpool will return in 12 months time by which time Keita’s exit clause of £48 million will change the landscape.
Leipzig have never shifted position since Liverpool made their official moves for the player, with respective bids of £57 million and £66 million. Jurgen Klopp would have broken a club transfer record by £30 million had the last offer been accepted, but the rebuttal of such a staggering sum underlined the Germans were not bluffing with the public statements insisting there would be no sale.
The Keita stalemate will be a source of frustration for Klopp and present him with a dilemma. He has made it clear he does not want to compromise the quality of his targets and Keita was the man he wanted most to improve his midfield options.
If Klopp is to pursue an alternative – albeit reluctantly – he will want to make moves sooner rather than later as the Champions League qualifier is just three weeks away.
Klopp will be confident of winning the race for Keita eventually for a lot less than on offer now. The player has said nothing since Liverpool’s offers were made public, but the Merseysiders will feel in pole position should the midfielder decide to leave after another year at Leipzig.
This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.