Liverpool are interested in signing RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita in the upcoming summer transfer window. The Reds have been monitoring the 22-year old midfielder who has been the driving force behind the newly-promoted German side’s surprise title challenge.
Keita joined Leipzig last summer from sister club RB Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga and has been an absolute revelation. Someone who can play anywhere in the midfield, the Guinea international has scored four times and set up eight more strikes from 23 appearances this season.
However, RB Leipzig issued a hands-off warning to any interested clubs, including Liverpool, ruling out the sale of Keita in the summer window. Director Ralf Rangnick insisted that the club has no intention of selling their prized asset, especially with involvement in the UEFA Champions League looking very likely.
In the aftermath of this news, we take a look at three alternative targets that Liverpool could bring in if their approach for Keita fails:
The Monaco midfielder has been linked with a potential move to Liverpool and could be the ideal alternative for Keita.
An all-action midfielder, Bakayoko has immense abilities with the ball at his feet and is equally good when not in possession. A strong header of the ball and an astute tackler, the 22-year old is a force to be reckoned with in the midfield. The Frenchman has scored twice and assisted once this season from 35 appearances across all competitions and has demonstrated that he can shield the defence admirably and at the same time get his team on the front-foot with his passing. Bakayoko could prove to be an expensive prospect, given the amount of interest in him, he could prove to be a worthy investment.
The 19-year midfielder has been touted as the next big thing to come from Belgian football and given his performances for RSC Anderlecht over the past two seasons, he definitely looks like the real deal.
Tielemans at such a tender age has amassed over 150 appearances for the Belgian outfit and has been the beating heart of their midfield. In 40 appearances this season across all competitions, Tielemans has scored a whopping 17 goals and ten assists. Those are great returns for someone operating in the traditional No. 8 role. His ability to bomb into the box at the right time has been compared to the legendary Frank Lampard. Tielemans can easily slot in as a defensive midfielder or an attacking midfielder as well, adding an element of versatility. He is one of the best young midfielders around and signing him would be a great piece of business for Liverpool.
The 22-year old Olympique Lyon midfielder is another of the new crop of French talents that has been excelling in the Ligue1.
Tolisso has been one of the key members for Lyon as they chase the Champions league qualification in the French top division. The French youth international has scored 11 goals this season and has set up 5 for his teammates. He may not provide the same defensive solidity as the other names on the list, but his excellent ability to dictate the play and control the pace of the game from the central areas of the pitch can be a huge asset. He can operate as a right-back as well. He will boost the options for Klopp and Liverpool and may not cost as much as either Keita or Bakayoko. The player too has expressed his willingness to play in the Premier League and could be tempted if Liverpool come calling.