Liverpool reportedly moving on from Naby Keita chase

Liverpool's well-documented pursuit of Naby Keita has come to an end, according to reports in the UK media.

Liverpool reportedly moving on from Naby Keita chase
No move for Naby - his transfer to Liverpool looks unlikely (photo: Getty Images / Simon Hofmann)

Liverpool have given up in their pursuit of Red Bull Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, for now at least, according to various outlets within the English press.

The likes of the Guardian and Liverpool Echo have reported that, after a tough summer of negotiation with Leipzig, the Reds have finally accepted defeat.

It's thought that Liverpool could return for Keita next summer, when a release clause in his contract becomes available to trigger.

Reds taking a risk regarding 2018 purchase

That could make more financial sense for the Merseyside team, who have had two bids for the Guinean rejected, the latter of which coming in at around £66million, a staggering £20m more than what he could go for in 2018 with the clause.

Liverpool fans may be nervous about such an approach after the failed move to purchase Mahmoud Dahoud last summer. 

Having been unable to reach an agreement with Borussia Monchengladbach for the midfielder, the Reds agreed to wait until this year to get their man. By then, Dahoud had completed a move to Borussia Dortmund.

Jürgen Klopp could easily have his fingers burnt again with the Keita deal, especially if the 22-year-old continues the form that has seen him develop into one of Europe's most exciting midfielders. 

With a cost-effective release clause next summer, Keita's continued development would likely see even more clubs become interested in his services, leaving Liverpool with a huge battle to remain his first choice.

Whether or not it's a leak that's been put out to try and force Leipzig's hand in the negotiating chamber remains to be seen, but at this point it seems unlikely that the American-owned Premier League side will go back in with a third bid.

Great for Leipzig, but what for Liverpool?

The reports come as excellent news to Leipzig fans, keen to hang on to star players such as Keita and Emil Forsberg, as they enter the Champions League for the first time since being taken over by Red Bull.

If Liverpool are to move on to other targets they must move fast, with their season opener against Watford just two weeks away.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been mentioned as a possible target, although perhaps not as an alternative to Keita. Still, that would be a tough move to complete with Chelsea sniffing around a player Arsene Wenger is very keen to keep at Arsenal


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