Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp blocked RB Leipzig’s move for Naby Keita in the January transfer window, according to reports.
The Reds have had a terrible first 20 matches of their current Premier League campaign with Klopp’s side sitting tenth in the Premier League table.
A side that were a couple of different results away from an unprecedented Quadruple last season are somehow 11 points off fourth-placed Newcastle United and 21 points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal.
That has led to criticism of their midfield depth with Keita one of those players who has particularly come under scrutiny for his performances and injury issues.
Keita has only made 82 Premier League appearances for Liverpool over five seasons with the Guinea international starting just two matches in the league this term.
There were rumours that the 28-year-old could leave Anfield over the January transfer window but he is now likely to exit when his contract expires in the summer.
A recent report indicated that Keita is ‘not thinking about staying’ beyond the summer and the Liverpool midfielder apparently ‘feels aggrieved by many situations at the club’.
Tottenham are reportedly interested in signing him on a free transfer in the summer while RB Leipzig apparently attempted to sign him in January.
German publication Bild (via Sport Witness) claims that a ‘veto’ from Liverpool boss Klopp stopped Keita from moving to Leipzig in the winter market.
But it is ‘very possible’ that the Bundesliga outfit will be able to land him in the summer if they can beat off interest from a number of other clubs.
One such club could be AC Milan with the Daily Mirror insisting today that the Italian giants are ready to ‘step up their interest’ in the Guinea international, who is now able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club.
Back in the summer Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher described Keita as the “strangest player I’ve ever seen”.
“He is the strangest player I’ve ever seen,” Carragher told the Blood Red Podcast.
“I will watch him play and not be convinced, then I’ll go on Twitter and someone’s put some stats up. And you think he almost ticks the boxes for all that if you’re crunching the numbers.
“I know we do that on the TV and I know that’s how Liverpool look at players, I get all that, but no one can convince me that Keita’s been a success for Liverpool. He’s done well, he’s done ok, but he has one year to go, the club haven’t given him that new contract.
“When everyone is fit it’s a toss-up as to whether or not he’s been in the first XI. Klopp has never consistently picked him. He’s done well, but it’s not what we thought we were getting.”
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