Arsenal are preparing to offer Lazio wonderkid Keita Balde Diao the chance to end his frustrating association with the Serie A club in January, reports Il Tiempo.
The 19-year-old has already been earmarked as a future great despite his tender years. Having left Barcelona for Lazio, the striker quickly broke into the first team set up.
However, recently he has been demoted to a role on the bench and has not featured in any of Lazio's three matches. Manager Stefano Pioli was keen to take Keita down a peg by relegating him to the bench, leaving the teenage sensation far from happy.
His agent recently revealed that he was planning to sit down with Lazio officials should the situation continue. Having been left out of Lazio's 3-2 win over Sassuolo at the weekend, it seems the threat has not changed Pioli's mind.
With a potential exit looming, Arsenal are preparing to launch an audacious attempt to land the striker. Liverpool are also ready to renew their interest having failed with an enquiry in the summer.
Lazio had rebuffed Brendan Rodgers, telling him to fork out €30 million if he wanted Kieta. However, the club are now ready to lower their demands to €20 million and it appears Arsene Wenger is happy with the price.
It won't be all plain sailing for the Arsenal boss, however, as the same report insists that Liverpool will be ready to match his offer.
Keita has not had many chances to prove himself as of yet but hit headlines after scoring an incredible 47-goals in a single season whilst on loan to Barcelona’s satellite club, UE Cornella.
He has so far scored five goals in 16 appearances for Lazio but is already starting to look towards pastures new. He wants more first team football to make sure he reaches his potential.
Wenger is famed for giving young players a chance but Keita would have to compete with Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Yaya Sanogo for a place. Sanogo has failed to impress since joining from Auxerre last summer but Welbeck has.
Keita would obviously benefit from the world-class coaching facilities at London Colney not to mention the wisdom of world-class coaches like Wenger.
Having signed Mario Balotelli in the summer, first team opportunities are, again, few and far between at Anfield. Alongside Daniel Sturridge, Balotelli makes up an impressive array of options for Rodger.
However, Balotelli has so far failed to impress with some Liverpool fans already suspecting the £16 million transfer fee has gone to waste.
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