The Reds face the prospect of losing their 27-year-old Guinean midfielder.
According to Sky Sports Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, Keita is dissatisfied with his current situation at Anfield, with contract extension talks currently on hold.
Plettenberg stated on his personal Twitter page:
“Exclusive Naby #Keita: He is dissatisfied with his current situation in Liverpool.” There were discussions about extending the contract, but they have now come to a halt. Regardless of Thiago and Oxlade-Chamberlain, his departure is a possibility. But it’s still early on. There will be discussions.”
According to Plettenberg, there were initial talks about a contract extension, but Keita’s change of heart, coupled with a lack of game time, means that Liverpool will face increased pressure to enter the transfer market to sign a replacement midfielder.
Following the injuries to Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Curtis Jones, the Reds have already been left short of options in the engine room, with other options either too inexperienced or too old to rely on for the remainder of the season.
Jurgen Klopp has already acknowledged that Liverpool’s situation has shifted, saying earlier this week:
“It’s not that we won’t sign a player if we have an injury problem, for example.” But it’s a completely different situation than at the start of preseason, when everyone told me we needed a new midfielder, and not just any midfielder.
“The situation has changed slightly now; we have more injuries.” But it can still come down to finding the right [player], which is difficult. It has nothing to do with the fact that it is already August, and the transfer window closes at the end of August.”
With talks about Keita’s future set to begin, they could be groundbreaking in terms of the potential impact on Klopp’s team.
Finding a player of Keita’s caliber who is willing to play a supporting role in the team with only two weeks left in the summer transfer window would be a difficult task in and of itself.
Keita appeared in 23 Premier League games for Liverpool last season, starting 14 of them.
He will be looking for more consistent minutes at the age of 27, and with talks set to take place, it remains to be seen how much importance Klopp places on the former Leipzig midfielder.