Liverpool's Chances of Securing Naby Keita January Transfer Reportedly 'Slim'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 29, 2017

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 16: Naby Keita of Leipzig controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Red Bull Arena on September 16, 2017 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Liverpool's chances of bringing Naby Keita to the club from RB Leipzig in January are reportedly "slim" even if the German side are eliminated from the UEFA Champions League. 

According to Andy Kelly of the Liverpool Echo, while the Reds are keen to move the midfielder's planned summer switch to the midseason window, their requests to do so are likely to fall on deaf ears.

"There is nothing to stop the Reds attempting to negotiate a fresh deal with Leipzig in January—just as they could for any other player—but the chances of success are considered somewhat remote," Kelly wrote.

Kelly added that Leipzig will be keen to keep Keita on board for the entirety of the season so they have the best chance possible of securing Champions League football for next term.

Keita is set to join the Reds next summer.
Keita is set to join the Reds next summer.TF-Images/Getty Images

As reported, the Reds have a transfer in place for next summer, having agreed to pay the player's £48 million release clause as well as an extra premium. Liverpool pushed to get a deal done for the Guinea international in the summer, but the transfer never materialised.

Liverpool supporters at least have something to look forward to when the midfielder does arrive. Alex Chaffer of the Bundesliga rates him highly:

It's easy to see why Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was keen to bring in the Leipzig man in the previous window after a remarkable 2016-17.

Keita was the driving force behind his side's remarkable second-place finish in their debut top-flight campaign. From the middle of the field, he was a key defensive presence and someone who opened up matches with his powerful surges.

The Squawka Football Twitter account offered up the numbers behind his incredible campaign:

After a summer of speculation, this season hasn't got off to the best of starts for Keita. He was sent off for a reckless challenge against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga and was lucky not to be given his marching orders against Besiktas in midweek after a string of fouls.

Keita hasn't been at his best this season.
Keita hasn't been at his best this season.OZAN KOSE/Getty Images

"Naby was not good today, maybe it would have been better not to have taken him," Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said after the Besiktas defeat, per Kelly.

"For me, as a coach, it is important to see who I can rely on at such moments, which players stand up and who is ready to fight against what is going on on the field."

All doesn't appear well at Leipzig as things stand, as they've yet to win in the Champions League and are down in sixth in the German top flight. While Keita has been part of their early-season slump, the club will be relying on him and other stars to turn things around in the weeks and months to come.