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Defender Keane to Reward Champions League Qualification

Burnley defender Michael Keane could be Liverpool’s defensive prize for finishing in the top four.

Crystal Palace v Burnley - Premier League
My precious?
Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Forget about any lengthy column on Sunday’s result. Team visited Anfield. Team sat deep. Team didn't concede a goal. Again. Against Liverpool. 360 minutes and not out this season. Liverpool didn't play with pace, movement, composure, or creativity. What Liverpool did do, however, was keep a clean sheet for the second game in a row. Congratulations? Improving defensively should be part of the next step under Jürgen Klopp, and perhaps Michael Keane will be a key piece in that plan. Or not.

The 24-year-old Burnley centre back was linked with a move to Anfield in March, but as much as Liverpool may be keen on Keane (not apologising, sorry) he doesn't capture the imagination like Virgil van Dijk—the club’s reported top target. The towering Southampton defender has supposedly agreed to join Klopp’s merry band of centre backs, but reality and competition could very well conspire to thwart such an event.

So. Why are we here, then? It appears that personal terms have been agreed with Keane, and to the disappointment of marquee signing enthusiasts, the former Manchester United defene'er is Klopp’s main target to strengthen the uneven heart of Liverpool’s defence. That's what the Daily Mirror is peddling, but none of the club-connected journalists have come out with this today.

The deal is contingent on qualifying for the Champions League, but that already gives an extra whiff to the rumour. £25 million transfer fee. A deal until 2021. This should be the incentive needed to swat aside West Ham United and Middlesbrough to secure a place in the top four. The fact that even Everton can attract Keane really should do away with this top four to get the lad in nonsense. At least make the tension believable and reasonable.

Maybe Keane is on the list and is a target. He's a similar age to Van Dijk, has played well this season, and would be better than some of the current options in the first-team squad. The problem is that Van Dijk has been extremely impressive and sounds like the type of player we should get but won't get but could get even though it doesn't make sense with our approach to transfer that we'd spend that much to get him but reliable journalists are convinced we will make a big push to get him so maybe we should really try to get him.

Michael Keane, in essence, gets in the way of that.

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