Footage & images of an apparently disinterested Naby Keita training for RB Leipzig have fed into the growing assumption that Liverpool’s pre-arranged deal to sign the Guinean midfielder could be brought forward & completed this month.
Liverpool sealed a high profile £48m transfer 12 months in advance after meeting Keita’s release clause, set to become active on 1st July 2018, but suggestions of striking a deal with Leipzig to make it happen sooner have never been far away.
Leipzig officials have regularly denied it could happen, while some over eager Liverpool fans comically mistook an Instagram post of Keita with a ticket – it later turned out for a basketball game – as a ‘hint’ that he could soon be boarding a plane to Merseyside.
But in fresh reports from Germany, it has been suggested that Leipzig are softening their previously firm stance & may sanction an earlier deal if Liverpool were prepared to pay an additional £13m.
Following on from that, Bild footage on Thursday morning showed a despondent looking Keita as the last of the Leipzig players to emerge for training. Perhaps tellingly, he walked out to train where the majority of his team-mates had been running.
A still image being shared on social media then showed Keita sat down while others trained, with Bild noting that Leipzig chiefs Oliver Mintzlaff & Ralf Rangnick were also out to speak with him at one point.
Whether there is anything to it, or whether there is a more innocent explanation for his behaviour remains to be seen.
Were Keita to arrive at Anfield this season, his presence would be a huge boost as the Reds battle in the Premier League & FA Cup. He would, however, be ineligible to play in the Champions League until next season after already participating in the competition in 2017/18.
— BILD RB Leipzig (@BILD_rbleipzig) January 11, 2018