NABY Keita could finally fast track his move to Liverpool after taking extraordinary steps ahead of his reported last game for RB Leipzig.
Plus a new midfield signing option emerges to replace Emre Can and the latest on Thomas Lemar as links to Christian Pulisic emerge.
It’s all in the latest Liverpool transfer news!
KEITA SET FOR MOVE ‘THIS WEEK’
German football expert Raphael Honigstein has confirmed a huge step that Naby Keita has taken as reports emerge he’s set to play his final RB Leipzig game this weekend.
Liverpool are desperate to bring his transfer forward six months after selling Philippe Coutinho and Paul Joyce of The Times has claimed the club is in “official contact” with Leipzig to negotiate the deal.
“Leipzig have not yet set a figure that would facilitate an early transfer but, equally, have not told Liverpool to back away during discussions,” writes Joyce.
This is despite the club’s public stance that they don’t want to sell their star midfielder earlier than the agreed July transfer.
Yet The Express has claimed Keita will play his final game for Leipzig on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) before moving to Liverpool as early as this week after registering a trademark in the UK.
‘NK8 LIMITED’ has been officially registered on the UK’s Companies House website, with Naby Deco Keita and agent Bjorn Alexander Bezemer listed as the two owners.
Keita was appointed director of the company on January 11, with Honigstein confirming its legitimacy on Twitter.
It draws comparisons with Nike’s leak of Coutinho’s impending transfer a week before the deal was actually completed. When there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Journalist Chris Williams, who reported Keita’s training antics to force a move, has also claimed that his sources say the move will be completed on Sunday (Monday AEDT).
Despite this, Liverpool Echo reporter James Pearce remains certain there has been “no progression” following initial discussions between Leipzig and Liverpool.
LEMAR BOOST, NEW SIGNINGS OPTION
Liverpool have received a boost with news of Arsenal targeting another attacking options as Alexis Sanchez’s replacement.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal will not sell Sanchez without first bringing in reinforcements, and Thomas Lemar was a prime summer target of the club.
But Guillem Balague has claimed the Gunners are instead pursuing Bordeaux attacker Malcom, meaning the Reds have less competition for Lemar’s signature.
Meanwhile, The Independent has reported Liverpool are still in the hunt for Borussia Dortmund youngster Christian Pulisic.
However they will face competition from Manchester United if they make a move in the summer.
Chief football reporter Miguel Delaney has said: “Liverpool are expected to make a move for Pulisic in the summer window with Jurgen Klopp a huge admirer of his former club’s player”.
However United’s desire to use the commercial potential of Pulisic in the USA means they are also one of his many suitors.
Another name linked with a move is Roma’s Kevin Strootman, who United chased in 2014.
Italian publication Leggo have suggested Strootman could be on his way to Anfield this month, with a £27 million price tag attached. He’s not seen as a replacement for Coutinho, rather one for Emre Can who has agreed terms with Juventus but not officially finalised his end-of-season exit.
GRIEZMANN LINKS RUBBISHED, NO GK SIGNING
Guillem Balague has rubbished talks that Antoine Griezmann could move to Liverpool after a betting agency slashed odds on the transfer.
The Reds became cut-priced favourites for the Atletico Madrid star on Sky Bet before Balague, a Spanish football expert, killed off the talks.
“I thought at this stage, people who follow transfers would be bright enough to understand when they are being led astray,” he said on Sky Sports – the same website who published the initial links.
“When there are serious matters at play, it is nonsense. Griezmann to Liverpool is absolute nonsense.”
Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo have said the club will not look to sign a goalkeeper in January despite being linked to Jan Oblak.
According to the report, the major goalkeeper dilemma for Klopp will be whether he holds on to third choice Danny Ward or loans him out for the second half of the season.
Finally, another link that has been rejected is Klopp’s pursuit of West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini.
The Daily Star has said there has been no contact with the Hammers over their star attacking midfielder, although the move could still happen.
KLOPP ON COUTINHO EXIT, STURRIDGE
Jurgen Klopp has spoken about Philippe Coutinho after criticism from Jamie Carragher that the club should have kept the Brazilian.
Carragher, in his column for The Telegraph, said selling Coutinho to Barcelona “made no sense”, but Klopp insists there was no chance of that.
“There was no other option,” said Klopp. “I knew there was a moment when it would come up again in this transfer window and it came up massively.
“It would have been very difficult if we say — and we could have done of course with his contract — ‘you have to stay here’.
“(I asked myself) ‘To use him as a player in the second part of the season, did it make sense? Do I think I can use him and can he help us?’
“It became 100 per cent clear, no chance. He was not ready to do that any more.”
Klopp also spoke about the future of Daniel Sturridge amid reports he is free to leave if someone meets his £30m valuation.
“That is part of the transfer window so I have nothing to say about it,” he said.
“We will see. Until January 31 there are a lot of things that can happen in the transfer window, not only with Daniel.”
REDS ON THE MOVE
ESPN FC have reported Marko Grujic is attracting interest from Huddersfield, Aston Villa and West Ham for a six month loan deal to earn regular first team football.
One player who won’t be on the move is Mohamed Salah, who has insisted he is very happy at the club.
“Well, I have heard so many rumours it does not bother me anymore…. I have been treated very well at Liverpool and right now, I belong to Liverpool and I am happy at Anfield,” he was quoted as saying in the Liverpool Echo.
Finally, Ryan Kent has completed his loan move to Bristol City. Kent’s loan deal sees financial penalties attached for Bristol if he does not play in a pre-agreed amount of matches this season.
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