Liverpool will need to break their transfer record if they are to sign RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keïta this coming summer, according to recent reports.
The Guinea international could go for as much as £50 million but it is thought that a price tag in that region would not put the Reds off. The most they have ever paid for a player stands at £35 million, which they forked out for Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll in 2011.
Leipzig to demand huge fee for midfielder
Keïta supplied eight goals and seven assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances this term as Leipzig finished three points ahead of Jürgen Klopp's former club Borussia Dortmund in third.
But the well-financially-backed German outfit are defiant that they will not sell their best players this season after excelling in their first year in the top-flight, and Keïta very much fits into that bracket.
Klopp is a huge admirer of the 22-year-old, having scouted him heavily, and has made him a priority signing this summer as he looks to bolster his squad for a potential Champions League campaign to enjoy if they progress past their two-legged qualifier.
But Leipzig's desire not to become a selling club will however make any move difficult.
Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff recently told the Times that the Saxony club will "not sell any player" from their starting line-up - adding: "Ralf Rangnick [the sporting director] told this to our team at the end of the season. We will keep together and keep on developing."
Liverpool have had constructive talks with Keïta - who can play in a box-to-box or advanced role - and his agency, the same one as Reds winger and Player of the Season Sadio Mané, with both having started at Austrian side RB Salzburg.
Bayern Munich are thought to be another club of many interested in Keïta, who made the Bundesliga's official Team of the Season for his performances in his first year at Leipzig.
Liverpool could look to test the resolve of Ralph Hasenhüttl's side with a big-money bid in the region for Keïta, though negotiations will not prove easy given his form and importance.
Van Dijk headlines Reds' other targets
The Merseyside outfit also remain keen on Virgil van Dijk, although Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are among the other clubs interested in the Dutchman - who recently signed a six-year deal with the Saints.
But Liverpool have no problem with having to break their transfer record in order to upgrade the squad in order for the club to compete on numerous fronts next term, Klopp recently revealing that the club "have enough money" to pursue his targets.
Talks are also said to have been positive with van Dijk's representatives, though the many offers available to him could threaten Liverpool's chances of signing him.
Otherwise attacking options and the left-back position both remain positions in need of improving with the likes of AS Roma's Mohamed Salah, Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and teenage Fulham full-back Ryan Sessegnon, all reliably linked.