Liverpool transfer news: £70m for Naby Keita is 'insane'
Reds prepared to break transfer record for midfielder, but are they ready to meet Leipzig's asking price?
Having signed Mohamed Salah for a club record fee over the weekend, Liverpool are on the lookout for more recruits - which could mean the Egyptian's status as the most expensive Reds player ever could be a short one, with midfielder Naby Keita on Jurgen Klopp's radar.
"Liverpool have been handed encouragement in their attempt to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig," says The Guardian. "Although the German club have indicated that they are not prepared to allow the Guinea international to leave for less than £70m."
The box-to-box midfielder has so far refused to sign a new contract with the German side and is "understood to have indicated his desire to leave should the club's valuation be met", says the paper.
Liverpool are prepared to spend £50m, says the Guardian, but according to the Liverpool Echo, the fee could be a stumbling block.
"The Guinea international has emerged as a top target for Jurgen Klopp as he looks to beef up his midfield this summer - but the Reds could face a real battle to prise him from the Bundesliga," it says.
It's not that there are other clubs interested: it's that the player is reportedly willing to stay with Leipzig for another season. That means there is no pressure for the club to sell for anything less than their asking price of £70m - a fee described as "insane" by "highly-respected German journalist Raphael Honigstein", says the Echo.
Liverpool could raise that kind of money with a clear-out at Anfield, says James Pearce of the Echo.
The club's owners "are backing Jurgen Klopp with hard cash but what's set to be Liverpool's biggest ever summer spending spree will be accompanied over the coming weeks by the sale of those Anfield stars who are surplus to requirement", he says.
Among them are Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Sturridge, who could both command fees of around £30m, while Lucas Leiva, Lazar Markovic, Jon Flanagan and Alberto Moreno could leave for less.