Barcelona are said to be lining up moves for Naby Keita and Leon Goretzka after admitting defeat in their pursuit of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho.

By 90Min
August 22, 2017

Barcelona are lining up moves for Naby Keita and Leon Goretzka after admitting defeat in their pursuit of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho.

Ernesto Valverde's side had scouts present during RB Leipzig's 2-0 over Schalke at the weekend, according to the Mirror, with both Keita and Goretzka figuring in the Bundesliga clash.

Keita, who has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, could not stop his side losing to Goretzka's, with Nabil Bentaleb's penalty and Yevhen Konoplyanka's strike proving enough for victory for Schalke.

Barcelona sent technical director Roberto Fernandez and their chief of scouting to cast an eye over proceedings just a day after their third bid for Coutinho was rejected by Liverpool's owners.

Liverpool had made Keita their primary transfer target but Leipzig were incredibly reluctant to do business, rejecting bids of £57m and £66m and leaving the Reds frustrated in their pursuit of the midfielder.

Ronny Hartmann/GettyImages

The Bundesliga club have publicly asserted that the Guinea international must not leave the club as they prepare for their maiden Champions League campaign, with his potential departure likely to send the wrong message to the rest of Leipzig's squad.

Barcelona could be similarly frustrated should they try to sign Keita and could therefore switch their sights to Goretzka, a 22-year-old midfielder who featured for Germany during their Confederations Cup success earlier in the summer.

His future at Schalke remains uncertain, with the former Bochum man entering the final 12 months of his contract and also being heavily linked with a free transfer to Bayern Munich.

Barca could instead step in now and pay a transfer fee in order to sign the midfielder, with the Catalan giants' squad in desperate need of investment following their recent Supercopa de Espana embarrassment at the hands of Real Madrid.

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