Barcelona are reportedly considering a move to sign Naby Keita from Liverpool despite the move to sign Philippe Coutinho in 2018 which catapulted the club even further into debt.
The Guinean arrived from RB Leipzig after the Reds agreed to pay €62.8m (£52.7m) but things have not gone according to plan as he has struggled for consistency as injuries have made it impossible for him to nail down a role in the side.
With pace, silky dribbling, snappy passing and great tactical understanding, he’s got all the traits that Jurgen Klopp would want from a midfielder but his availability lets him down and that’s where Georginio Wijnaldum was world-class.
The Dutchman wasn’t every fan’s cup of tea – I understand that. In order to perform and make an impact, however, you need to be fit and Gini always was while Keita has struggled to remain fit during his Liverpool career.
With 18 months on his contract, I had a look the other day at whether or not the Reds should renew his deal, sell him this summer or let him leave in 18 months and it appears as though the midfielder has made the decision for the club if you believe El Nacional.
The Spanish outlet claims that the Guinean – now on international duty in Cameroon for the AFCON for the month of January – has begun ‘studying the calls his representative has received’.
For around €30million, Keita can leave the club and while Bayern Munich, West Ham, Roma and Milan are interested, Barcelona are the favourites to sign the Liverpool star as his time at Anfield seems to wind down to an unsatisfying end.
Unless Keita returns from AFCON and plays displays at a level that he hasn’t reached yet with the Reds, it seems likely that he will leave this summer although it’s unclear whether or not that will be to Camp Nou or not.
Liverpool can’t risk letting him leave for free in 18 months when he hasn’t shown any major signs of coming right.
It’s unfortunate as he’s got massive potential but his body might not be able to handle the physical demands of the Premier League and all the fixtures.
That said, he hardly plays so he can’t exactly blame the fixture congestion for his injuries.