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Liverpool willing to include African star in swap deal for 25-year-old midfielder



Liverpool plot swap deal involving Naby Keita and Inter Milan star Nicolo Barella

According to the Italian outlet Calciomercato (h/t Liverpool Echo), Liverpool are looking to facilitate a swap deal that includes Naby Keita in return for Inter Milan star Nicolo Barella this summer. It is touted that they could have plans to reinforce their midfield, prompting them to undertake this route.

The Reds have expressed their interest in signing Barella, with Jurgen Klopp being “bewitched” by the midfielder. They are set to make a firm approach for the Inter ace, which is rated in the region of £77million, soon.

As such, the Merseysiders are supposedly ready to add Keita in an exchange deal to get their hands on Barella ahead of the next season. The latter’s stance on a potential move is unknown right now, so it will be interesting to see if he would entertain proposals from our end this summer.

Liverpool plot swap deal involving Naby Keita and Inter star Nicolo Barella.
Nicolo Barella is wanted by Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Paper talk?

It is highly advisable that this piece of information is taken with a pinch of salt when looking at the appropriate context. Fabrizio Romano has recently revealed that Klopp’s side has prioritised the renewal of Keita’s contract, with talks set to take place shortly.

Keita is in line to enter the final year of his current deal this summer which could explain the reason for our current stance. If that is the case, then one could deem this so-called swap deal to hold no weight at this moment.

In fact, Barella himself extended his contract to 2026 only back in November last year, which gives us all the more reason to conclude this news as nothing more than paper talk. Theo Squires of Liverpool Echo also believes the same, which raises a question mark over the aforementioned claim.

Naby Keita is seeing his contract expire in the summer of 2023.
Naby Keita is seeing his contract expire in the summer of 2023.

It does make sense why we are being linked with a midfield signing looking at our current set of options. Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Thiago Alcantara are past their thirties, which means that we would need to replace them sooner rather than later.

Barella, at 25, is approaching the peak of his career. He has the dynamism to be an influential midfielder both in and out of possession. Most LFC fans would be open to him moving to Anfield.

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But it is thought that we have already concluded our transfer business for this summer with the idea of a new midfielder deemed necessary only at the end of the next season. Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is touted as an option, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out in the future.