Liverpool target Naby Keïta can leave RB Leipzig

Jürgen Klopp has identified the 22-year-old central midfielder as a key target after completing the £36.9m club record signing of the Egypt international Mohamed Salah from Roma last week, with Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk also still wanted by the Liverpool manager despite the club publicly apologising this month over their approach for the Holland defender and saying they had ended their interest.Keïta, who has refused to sign a new contract with Leipzig despite holding talks at the end of the season, impressed as the newly promoted side finished as runners-up in the Bundesliga to secure qualification for the Champions League for the first time. He has three years remaining of the deal signed when he moved last summer from their sister club Red Bull Salzburg – where the Liverpool forward Sadio Mané spent two years before joining Southampton in 2014 – but is understood to have indicated his desire to leave should the club’s valuation be met.

Despite Leipzig’s sporting director, Ralf Rangnick, and chief executive, Oliver Mintzlaff, publicly insisting that neither Keïta nor the Sweden forward Emil Forsberg will be sold, Leipzig are believed to be demanding £70m for Keïta, who joined for around £10m last year. “It would be negligent to give away one of our key players now,” Mintzlaff said last week. “Emil and Naby are both extremely talented players with a lot of potential. We are delighted that we as a club can keep up with their development and that we can prove ourselves in Champions League in the upcoming season.”


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