After the inevitable occurred and Naby Keïta reportedly declared his intention to leave RB Leipzig this summer, attentions have focused on how Liverpool can make this transfer happen. Incredibly, there is a realistic possibility of Jürgen Klopp getting all his top targets this summer.
The £70.4 million asking price was designed to ward Liverpool off, but soon after, the Bundesliga runners-up face trying to get the best fee possible for a player that no longer wants to remain at the club. According to Melissa Reddy, Liverpool will need to top the £55 million Manchester City paid for Kevin De Bruyne two summers ago. The problem, however, is that the €75 million it took to bring the former VFL Wolfsburg schemer back to England is nigh on £66 million at current exchange rates.
A £48 million release clause will become active next year for the 22-year-old, but there needs to be an incentive to sell him this year considering that such a clause will be easily met for a midfielder with unique talents in this transfer market. Selling an unhappy player for a sizeable fee has its own benefits and value, but Leipzig don't seem amenable to a fee of £50 million or so that Liverpool are willing to pay.
Emil Forsberg is another Leipzig star that wants to move on and has been heavily linked with a move to free-spending AC Milan. Despite the ambition of Red Bull and a superb debut in the Bundesliga last season, there are realities that only a select few clubs never have to contemplate in modern football. With Virgil van Dijk reportedly still keen on a move to Liverpool, the club's transparent approach to targets seems to have been borne out of a confidence from tapping the players up effectively.
While this may sound somewhat roguish and inequitable, it is the way footballing institutions such as Liverpool should act to prise desired players away from other clubs. There is now an asking price along with a player who wants to leave; this may have the makings of a transfer saga that ends in Liverpool acquiring an extremely dynamic and exciting midfielder.