Writing in his column for Football Insider (h/t Liverpool Echo), Gabriel Agbonlahor has predicted that Liverpool may not look to renew the contract of Naby Keita.
The Guinean superstar is set to enter into the last year of his current deal at Anfield four years after joining the Merseysiders. Signed for around £48million, Keita hasn’t really had a glorious time at Liverpool.
And Agbonlahor, an icon at Aston Villa, believes that the Reds may not renew his deal beyond the summer of 2023. That would certainly raise a dilemma for Jurgen Klopp and co.
“Keita is on and off, he doesn’t score enough goals and can be a bit wild in his play. He’s not lived up to the price tag at all. I’m sure Liverpool should be looking to part ways.”
So, should the Reds part ways this summer in order to avoid losing him on a free transfer next year- granted they don’t want to offer a new deal- or do they let him leave as a free agent, as they did with Georginio Wijnaldum last year?
“They need two top-class midfielders in there. [Jordan] Henderson is 31, he’s not going to be playing as much. Fabinho is your one starter and Thiago gets injured a lot. They need two midfielders for me. I don’t see them renewing Keita.”
That is certainly a tricky question to answer because, of course, the Reds would want a good sum of money if they see a player like Keita depart. At 27, he is in his prime years and was signed for a big sum four years ago.
Moreover, they have an urgent need for depth in midfield. Rather than weakening their squad, they would be wise to instead add players to that.
Keita certainly divides opinion within this fanbase. Most LFC fans will vouch for his quality- and he has been very good whenever given the chance to play for an extended period of time.
But some of them may already be fed up with his constant injuries and unavailability over the course of the season. Even if he largely kept fit in the latest campaign, that worry would still linger.
According to the Athletic at the beginning of this month, as covered by TheKopTimes, the Reds are hoping to extend the former RB Leipzig star’s deal. It seems that would be the smartest thing to do, and then take a call on whether they want to offload him in the coming years.
Man City set to submit £45m for Chelsea target
Current Premier league champions Manchester City is set to submit bid for Brighton & Hove Albion left-back Marc Cucurella in the summer transfer window.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is determined to sign his Spanish defender, who has been identified as City’s primary left-back target this summer, according to The Guardian.
The report claims that the Premier League champions are preparing to submit their first bid for Chelsea target Cucurella, who could cost in the region of £45m and are in advanced talks to sign the defender from Brighton.
However, the interest from Chelsea stems from the uncertainties surrounding the futures of Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri. While Alonso is heavily linked with Barcelona, Emerson could return to Italy this summer. And with Ben Chilwell only just returning from a long-term injury, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will need another quality left wing-back, making Cucurella a viable target.
The 23-year-old had an impressive first season with the Brighton last season, and he was named the club’s 2021-22 Player of the Season.
City have already signed Haaland and Julian Alvarez, and are plotting a move to sign Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips as a position replacement for Fernandinho.