Liverpool latest news: Naby Keita keen to stay at Anfield with club wary of financial hit

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita warms up at Anfield before Liverpool play Fulham in the Premier League

Liverpool's Naby Keita is keen to stay at the club this summer and those behind the scenes know they would have to take a massive financial hit in order to sell him, according to The Athletic

What is the latest transfer news involving Naby Keita? 

In April, Football Insider claimed Leicester City were keen on a move for the midfielder who Liverpool now value at £30m, representing a significant drop on the £52.7m they spent on him back in 2017 before he eventually joined in the summer of 2018. 

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However, despite the apparent interest, the 26-year-old is said to want to stay on Merseyside and, at this stage, it is thought that the club feel it is unlikely they will be able to sell him without taking too much of a financial hit. 

How many games has Keita played for Liverpool? 

Back in December 2018, The Times revealed sporting director Michael Edwards was key in signing Keita from RB Leipzig, though clearly, the move is yet to work out. 

Indeed, the Guinea international has only played for Liverpool 76 times in the 158 games Liverpool have played since he signed, meaning he has only featured in 48.1% of their fixtures. Of those 82 games missed, 54 have been as a result of injury. 

Hauled off before half-time during the first leg of Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final loss to Real Madrid, Keita hasn't played since. 

How long does Keita have left on his contract? 

Keita's future does represent somewhat of a conundrum for Liverpool

While they are unlikely to get anything close to £50m for a player who has missed so many games (particularly in a post-pandemic market), he will soon enter the final two years of a contract which expires in the summer of 2023

If he endures another difficult season next time out, his value would surely drop even further and Liverpool would not be in a strong position to recoup any sort of substantial fee, given he'd be available for free within 12 months of next summer. 

According to SpotRac, the midfielder earns around £120k-per-week, making him a very expensive flop at the moment. 

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What could Keita bring to Liverpool if fully fit? 

Keita has shown an ability to dribble from deep and break behind opposition lines in the past, something The Athletic note Liverpool are struggling to do at the moment 

During his final two seasons with Leipzig, Keita was averaging between 2.8 and 2.5 dribbles per game and, even last year, was averaging 1.3 (via WhoScored). This season, no central midfielder has managed more than 1.2 (Thiago) and the title-winning campaign of 2019/20, Keita still ranked the highest of anyone in his position. 

Clearly, he offers something different but, sadly, Liverpool haven't seen it often enough. 

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