Bundesliga expert Lee Price has claimed that Liverpool signing Naby Keita could feature for the club this season.
The Reds have agreed a club record £48m deal to sign the 22-year-old midfielder from RB Leipzig, and he is set to join in July next year.
But Price has revealed that the transfer could be brought forward depending on the circumstances that develop in the first half of the season.
"As I revealed back in June, Keita had agreed terms with Liverpool long ago, and it was just Leipzig playing hard ball," he said, quoted by the Daily Express. "Cornered by his release clause of £48m kicking in next summer, the German club always knew that they'd have to come to an agreement this summer to maximise their income, hence charging Liverpool a premium to do the deal now. This makes sense for all parties - unless Keita picks up an injury.
"There is a chance, depending on Leipzig's domestic and Champions League progress, that Liverpool could pay a further premium to capture the midfielder in January.
"The deal also suits the Red, as it safeguards them against Emre Can's expiring contract - with the German expected to complete a move to Juventus at the end of the season."
Keita excelled for RB Leipzig last season, scoring eight goals in all competitions as the Bundesliga newcomers finished second to Bayern Munich and qualified for the Champions League.
On confirmation of the transfer, he said: "I will become part of a project that excites me greatly.
"My commitment to RBL remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club. Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season.
"Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance."