Liverpool fans may be set for a huge disappointment after the latest gossip on the Naby Keita front has suggested the Reds are ready to temporarily give up on prising the dynamic midfielder away from RB Leipzig and try again next year when a deal is more achievable.
Liverpool are believed to have had multiple bids for Keita rejected. The biggest and best of those offers totalled £66m and would have been a huge new Anfield record, but Leipzig remained firm in their stance that the player is not for sale.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Liverpool are 'increasingly pessimistic' of their chances of capturing Keita this summer. That means unless Leipzig are suddenly willing to change their position and negotiate, talks will resume next summer when a release clause comes into play.
It is suggested that Guinea international Keita has a clause that will become active in 2018 that would allow Liverpool to sign him for a fixed figure of £48m.
BREAKING: Keita just liked instagram post of puppies wearing coats. Firmino's hair stylist wears a coat and has a puppy. Deal done ✅— The Scouse Pharaoh (@scousepharaoh) July 23, 2017
Assuming the player is happy to make the switch to Anfield at that time, it would be a much easier deal to agree, even if it comes with the disappointment of waiting another year for it to happen and the risks that are associated with that.
It also means Liverpool will likely have to chase another midfielder this summer to ensure the squad is not left too thin in 2017/18, especially after Lucas Leiva's confirmed departure to Lazio and Jordan Henderson's less than stellar injury record in recent years.