Liverpool preparing opening club-record offer for RB Leipzig's Naby Keïta

Liverpool are expected to table an opening offer for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keïta that would once again break their transfer record.

The Reds' previous acquisition, Mohamed Salah, took the Reds' record fee to £36.9 million but if they are to secure a deal for Keïta then they are likely to have to pay surplus of £50 million.

Liverpool have already held discussions with the German club, who insist that the Guinea international will not be allowed to leave the club, but intend on testing that resolve with a big-money bid.

Jürgen Klopp's side are not discouraged by suggestions that Leipzig, who finished second in the Bundesliga to qualify for the Champions League in their first-ever top-flight campaign, could ask for as much as £70 million.

The 22-year-old has a release clause of £48 million that can be exercised in the summer of 2018, but Liverpool intend to sign Keïta this summer to strengthen their squad ahead of their return to the Champions League, pending a play-off qualifier.

Reds hopeful of convincing Leipzig to do business

Klopp is keen to improve upon the starting options he already has with his summer business, with Keïta an upgrade on his current options in the No.6 role, while he can also take up box-to-box duties.

Keïta only joined Leipzig for £12.75 million last summer following two years with Red Bull's sister club RB Salzburg, but with eight goals, seven assists and a handful of combative midfield performances was the driving force in a youthful Leipzig team in just his first year.

Ralph Hasenhüttl is therefore reluctant to lose the important Keïta, with sporting director Ralf Rangnick regularly declaring that the club would not sell the player ahead of a first-ever Champions League campaign.

But with uncertainty surrounding Liverpool's chase of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk after publicly apologising and withdrawing their interest in the Dutchman for allegedly tapping him up, Keïta has moved to the top of Klopp's list.

The move will however depend on Leipzig's resolve and whether Liverpool can convince them to part with one of their most prized assets with a record-breaking offer.