Liverpool are set to make a deal with Borussia Dortmund for starlet Jude Bellingham – and include a makeweight in the opposite direction.
That's the claim arising from Germany, with the England international's stock rising this season, following star performances in the Nations League and a goal in the Champions League against Manchester City.
Bellingham is highly rated by Reds boss Jurgen Klopp – but with Manchester United and Real Madrid both reportedly interested in the 19-year-old, it would seem that Liverpool have an ace card in signing Bellingham as soon as January.
According to German outlet SportBILD (opens in new tab), are prepared to offer cash plus Naby Keita in order to secure Bellingham's signature.
Keita's contract expires in the summer of 2023 (opens in new tab), so the Reds will have to make the swap deal this January, with the Guinean schemer able to negotiate a Bosman with overseas clubs at the turn of the year.
The Liverpool No.8 has struggled to hold down a regular spot in Klopp's midfield due to a mix of both injury problems and form, following his spectacular move from RB Leipzig back in 2018. The six-time European champions actually agreed the deal with Leipzig to land the midfielder the summer before – and were prepared to wait an entire year just to have him in their squad.
A return to the Bundesliga, however, could offer Keita the chance to play in the league that he made his name – and give him an opportunity to rekindle that electric form that made Liverpool want to sign him for around £50 million.
Dortmund are said to want £83m for Bellingham (opens in new tab) – so long as the transfer fee is paid up front. It's possible, however, that Liverpool could reduce that fee down to as little as £50m by offering a player in the opposite direction – while getting a big earner off the wage book.
Bellingham is valued at around £81m by Transfermarkt (opens in new tab).
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Plans for January at Manchester United are already being drawn up but apparently depend upon the future of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has been speaking to FFT about the influence of American owners and how they threaten "the fabric of the English game".
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