Yesterday, Liverpool’s top midfield transfer target was busy following Liverpool players on social media. His decision to follow Sadio Mané, represented by the same agent, might not have struck anyone as off, but giving a follow to Roberto Firmino did.
Today, though, after a few days training on his own—due to injury issues according to Leipzig—he was back in team training while Liverpool were pondering a third bid for the player. At least until he injured a teammate and training then had to be cancelled following a heated exchange.
According to Bild, in the day’s second session, Keïta exchanged words and some physical play with teammate Diego Demme. He then left the player crumpled on the ground and needing medical assistance following what they called a “brutal” tackle.
Demme had to be taken to the hospital for treatment; while Keïta was surrounded by teammates, manager Ralph Hasenhüttl called an early end to training for the day, sending players back to the hotel. Bild at least believe the incident was fuelled by Keïta’s frustration at the ongoing transfer saga.
Many, including those at Liverpool, had believed their last bid would be accepted, and there is speculation that Leipzig may have been operating in bad faith in negotiations, encouraging Liverpool to bid to a certain amount while having no intention of ever dealing.
Speculation that, in essence, the club were using Keïta and Liverpool to get their brand a little more attention by doing their best to drag out negotiations with no intention of agreeing a deal. As a result, a third Liverpool bid for the player is not certain.
According to some with sources within the club, like The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce, they are still considering it. According to others, like The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe, they have already given up the chase and there will be no third bid.
Now Keïta is following Liverpool players on social media and throwing dangerous tackles in training that the German media at least are suggesting reflect unhappiness and disillusionment with the situation at Leipzig. And nothing at all about what comes next is clear.
Liverpool may bid again, or not. Leipzig may never have been willing to deal, or they may still be. Keïta may be allowing his frustrations to boil over, or the media may be reading too much into an unfortunate but mundane incident. We may have the answers shortly. Or we may not.