Liverpool could yet snap up midfielder Naby Keita this month despite RB Leipzig insisting he won’t make a January departure to Anfield, feels transfer guru Ian McGarry. Keita is joining the Reds at the end of the season but the Merseysiders have tried to get him in earlier, following the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
Liverpool reached an agreement over Naby Keita’s transfer to Anfield back in the summer after they decided to trigger his £48m release clause. The deal, however, was for the midfielder to join the Reds in the summer of 2018.
Talks took place between the two clubs but Leipzig insisted that no January sale will go through. To make matters clear, the German club released a statement earlier this month, insisting that the Guinea international would be staying until the end of the season.
However, Football operations and communications consultant, McGarry has claimed that he is expecting to see Keita sign for the Reds before the end of the January transfer window.
“I still believe there will be an agreement to bring Naby Keita to Anfield before the end of this window,” McGarry spoke on the Transfer Window Podcast (h/t Daily Star).
“What they are arguing over is how much that is going to cost. This is becoming a very expensive transfer for Liverpool because the money they have agreed to pay already is in excess of £60m.
“However with the Coutinho money in the bank and Van Dijk in central defence, paying an extra €15m to €20m to get Keita for the second-half of the season as they push for the top-four and allow him to get used to the environment of Liverpool and his team-mates (would make sense).
“I wouldn’t say Liverpool’s transfer business is concluded just yet albeit it would be Keita they invest their money in bringing in early rather than a player outside that.”
Once Leipzig released their statement of not allowing Keita to join us this month, I had given up the hope. But after McGarry’s words, I feel that by paying an extra €15m to €20m, we can persuade the German club to allow the player to join us earlier than expected.
Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt too much to wait for a few more months to get Keita on board as we have enough quality in every position to achieve our season targets.