Liverpool are targeting a summer move for Red Bull Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita with Jurgen Klopp keen to overhaul his squad, according to The Sun.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side have been the surprise package of the Bundesliga this season and are currently second, five points behind leader Bayern, but eight points ahead of Borussia Dortmund.
Keita has been a key figure for Leipzig’s superb season and has emerged as one of the most highly-rated midfielders in the Bundesliga.
The 22-year-old’s displays have, however, also attracted interest from other top clubs including Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.
However, Liverpool could have the edge on their rivals as Keita shares the same agent as Sadio Mane who has enjoyed a brilliant first season for Liverpool.
Mane, who joined the club from Southampton in the summer, has settled straight into life at Anfield, using his pace to terrorise Premier League defenders and he is also the club’s top goalscorer this season with 11 goals.
Liverpool will be hoping they can use Mane’s influence to land Keita and persuade him that Anfield is the best option.
The Reds are expected to have a busy summer in the transfer market with the club’s recent form highlighting a need to strengthen the squad if they are to maintain a title push next season.
Striker Daniel Sturridge is expected to be the most high-profile departure while the futures of Alberto Moreno, Emre Can, Lucas Leiva, Ragnar Klavan and even goalkeepers Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius have been the subject of speculation.
Primarily a holding midfielder Keita is using to playing in a high-intensity pressing system at Leverkusen and would slot right in at Liverpool under Klopp.
Keita has been compared to N’Golo Kante however he does offer more of a goal threat than the Chelsea man.
The Guinea international scored twice at the Africa Cup of Nations in January and his intelligent passing can also help spring attacks.
Keita has six assists and four goals in 20 Bundesliga appearances this season and after a superb season Leipzig will surely struggle to hold onto him if bids arrive in the summer.