Agents representing Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita are actively pursuing a move to Atletico Madrid and are thought to have offered the 26-year-old to the Spanish giants.
But the recently crowned La Liga champions aren’t fully convinced by him, and are believed to have other priorities in the transfer market.
Expectations were high for Keita when he arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2018 and took the number eight shirt made famous by Steven Gerrard, but he has struggled to make a consistent impact. While he has shown his ability in flashes, there hasn’t been enough in his 76 appearances to justify his £54m price tag.
Injuries haven’t helped his cause, but he has managed just 16 appearances this season. He hasn’t been seen since he was substituted in the first half of Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in Spain, and hasn’t been named in a squad since April.
There have been rumours of a rift with Jurgen Klopp centring around his role in the team, and Spanish publication AS have had added further fuel to that fire. They report that Keita ‘doesn’t quite get on’ with his German manager, and that frustrations are growing that he is being asked to play a supporting role at Anfield, rather than a starring one.
His agents are said to be leading the charge and have contacted Atletico about a potential deal. While it’s acknowledged that Keita is the profile of signing that Diego Simeone wants, Atleti aren’t thought to hold an active interest in bringing him to Madrid.
Having wrapped up just a second league in the last 25 years, Simeone’s side are instead said to be focused on other targets. That could change depending on how other things pan out this summer, particularly as Saul Niguez has been linked with a move away and Lucas Torreira, on loan from Arsenal, continues to have an uncertain future.
Paulo Dybala is another player who has been linked with a move to Atletico but it remains to be seen if Juventus are willing to part with the talented Argentine.