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Liverpool looking to sign Naby Keita in January transfer window - source

Liverpool looking to sign Naby Keita in January transfer window - source
From ESPN - January 11, 2018

Liverpool continue to explore the possibility of bringing forward Naby Keita's transfer to Anfield this window, a source has told ESPN FC, while RB Leipzig insist their stance "has not changed."

As it stands, Keita, 22, will become a Liverpool on July 1 as the Premier League club triggered a release clause in his contract last summer, while paying a premium to secure his services in advance.

But a knock-on effect from Philippe Coutinho's 142 million sale to Barcelona is Liverpool seeking to have Keita, a dynamic midfielder, ahead of schedule.

Before Coutinho was sold, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ruled out attempting to make a move for Keita, saying the club "do not think about it."

However, having now lost the Brazil international, Liverpool are in dialogue with the Bundesliga runners-up about a possible January move, the source said.

But Leipzig do not want to lose Keita this month as they still remain in a battle to secure Champions League qualification for next campaign and find themselves in the round-of-32 of this season's Europa League.

They told the BBC: "There is nothing new about this situation and so that speculation is not true.

"Nothing has changed and our position has not changed from before regarding this transfer."

RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl ruled out any suggestion they would consider letting Keita depart for Liverpool this month.

Reports in Germany suggested Leipzig may be willing to reconsider their position and would take a fixed sum for Keita's services now, with no guarantee of securing European football even if they keep Keita on board.

"The latest is that the situation remains the way it was during the whole season," he said at a Bundesliga news conference on Thursday ahead of the game against Schalke. "We have always said that there's no reason to allow Keita leave early and that's the way it is staying.

"Therefore, Keita will play against Schalke this weekend. Hopefully he will play well and that is the only thing I am interested in."

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