Liverpool midfielder Naby Neita is “open-minded” on the subject of his Liverpool future, with the uncertainty surrounding the situation leading to interest from European clubs.
What’s the word?
That is according to transfer insider Dean Jones, who has said that this is a “key time” for the 27-year-old and suggesting that he would be willing to sign a new deal with the Reds if assurances were made over a long-term role at Anfield for him.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Jones said: “It’s a key time for Naby Keita and a lot hinges on how he feels within the Liverpool squad over the next few months.
“I’m told he’s open-minded about a new contract but needs to believe he has a long-term role. Clubs across Europe are monitoring this one in case he decides he wants a move in the new year.”
Keita’s big decision
At this point in his career, Keita is right to want assurances over regular minutes at Liverpool. However, the question is whether can Klopp afford him those assurances, especially with the much-anticipated prospective swoop for Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham next summer.
This is where the Guinea international has the high ground, though. With his contract expiring next summer, Keita will be a free agent by then if he does not sign a new deal, and will of course have opportunities to sign a pre-contract agreement in January too.
He knows that the ball is in Liverpool’s court with this one, and thanks to the Bosman ruling, he holds a great deal of esteem in this situation.
Having clocked up some well-rounded metrics, as per FBref, he is an asset who offers a great deal in both attacking and defending phases. For instance, he ranks among the top 5% of midfielders in European leagues for shots taken, xG assisted, tackles and pressures in the attacking third, through balls and progressive carries.
However, the 27-year-old’s injury record is poor, which may cost him in his hunt for long-term assurances at the club.
We will just have to wait to see how this one unfolds, but there is no doubt that Liverpool would like to recruit some of the £52.75m that they paid to RB Leipzig for Keita in 2018 if they decide not to keep him at Anfield beyond the expiry of his contract next summer.