Liverpool have been given a major boost in their hopes of bringing RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita to Anfield earlier than initially planned, after it emerged that the Bundesliga outfit would be willing to accept a £13m premium to release the player before July.
The Reds had officially confirmed they would be signing the Guinean midfield dynamo at the start of next summer's transfer window before the current season began, in a deal believed to be worth around £48m. However, the recent £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona has left a hole in the Liverpool squad, and a lot of money to burn.
Further to reports in Bild and Kicker: Leipzig would consider allowing Keita to leave in Jan should a fee be agreed up on that suits both #RBL & #LFC. Leipzig are holding out for the highest possible return. Crucially Keita has now expressed a desire to leave during this window.— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) January 10, 2018
It's reported in Germany, as carried by the Liverpool Echo, that Leipzig will be looking for an additional £13m on top of the initial fee in order to bring the transfer forward. The Bundesliga high-fliers had initially been opposed to the idea of letting Keita leave early, but have relented in their stance after it emerged the player himself was keen to fly the nest.
The German side's CEO, Oliver Mintzlaff, had said last week that no request had come from the player or his representatives to leave any earlier than initially agreed, saying at the time: "Neither Naby nor his agent have made the request to leave the club in the winter. There are contracts, and they say that he will be a Liverpool employee from July 1 onwards."
It is however believed that something has changed, and Liverpool will now have the option to bring him in if Leipzig's new asking price is met.
Keita would be cup-tied in the Champions League, but would be able to feature in both the Premier League and FA Cup if Liverpool did manage to pull it off.