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Liverpool Need Champions League Football to Win Naby Keita Chase

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With Bayern Munich showing interest in the Leipzig mid, anything but a top four finish and the Reds are done.

3rd Place Match - Audi Quattro Cup 2015 Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Liverpool have made Naby Keita a transfer target as Jürgen Klopp prepares for a summer that will see the club attempt to add both strength and depth to a squad that is currently too thin to deal with the demands of European football. Multiple outlets and club-friendly journalists have confirmed as much.

However, according to the Liverpool Echo, whether they have a chance at landing the Leipzig midfielder is going to depend on whether they can secure a top four finish. That’s because it is becoming clear that Liverpool aren’t Keita’s only suitors. Bayern Munich are also seriously interested in him.

Right now, Bayern might even be the frontrunners, though that is at least in part due to the fact that they have already all but secured the Bundesliga title again this season and with it a place in next season’s Champions League. That seeming certainty, for now at least, gives them a clear edge in the Keita chase.

However, Keita is believed to be intrigued by the chance to play in England and work with Jürgen Klopp, particularly as he has been given a positive review of the Liverpool manager and club hierarchy by his agents, who also serve as representatives for Anfield attacking star Sadio Mané.

If Liverpool finish top four, then, that could prove to be to their advantage. So too could the ability by English clubs to pay more than their continental rivals—even when those rivals are Bayern Munich—for all but the most elite players in world football. First, though, they need to finish top four.

Do that, and a mix of better wages and the chance to work with Klopp would at the very least put them in a position to compete toe to toe with Bayern. Fail to do that and they won’t have a chance.