Reports: Barcelona set to make stunning bid for 22-year-old midfielder
What's the story?
Barcelona have accepted defeat in the pursuit of their number one target Philippe Coutinho. According to the Daily Star, the Spanish giants have now turned their attention to Liverpool's number one target, Naby Keita.
In case you didn't know...
Liverpool have been following Naby Keita since the start of this summer. He has been their number one target this whole transfer window.
However, RB Leipzig have told that the player is not for sale and have refused multiple bids from the Reds.
Leipzig have publicly stated that Keita will remain at the club for their maiden Champions League campaign. The club believe that selling him would send a wrong message to the other players in the club.
Along with Keita, Barcelona are also interested in Schalke star Leon Goretzka.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona have been trying hard to land Coutinho ever since the Neymar saga started. However, the Reds have time and again stated that the Brazilian is not for sale and have also turned down 3 bids by the Blaugrana.
The Spanish giants have now turned their attention to Naby Keita. RB Leipzig have turned down multiple offers from the Reds and Barcelona believe they can now get the player to move to Camp Nou.
The club sent technical director Roberto Fernandez to Germany for the opening day of Bundesliga clash to watch Keita in action.
Last season's Bundesliga runners-up have said that the player will not be sold this summer. The midfielder will not sign a new contract and will be allowed to leave next year if a club pays the £48 million release clause.
If Barcelona do manage to sign the midfielder, it would be a huge disappointment for Jurgen Klopp as he has made Keita his number one target this summer.
Given the fact that Leipzig do not want to sell Keita and are willing to let him leave next year for £48 million after refusing two offers from Liverpool worth £57 million and £66 million, it seems hard for Barcelona to get him.
The last thing Leipzig want right now is Barcelona's interest in their players. Given the whole Ousmane Dembele saga, the club is hoping that Keita does not do anything similar as the final stages of the summer transfer window approaches.