In Focus: Chelsea must beat Liverpool to signing of RB Leipzig star

According to reports in The Sun, Chelsea are ready to rival Liverpool for the signing of £25m-rated RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita this summer.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the 22-year-old has been on the Bundesliga outfit’s best players this season and he looks set to help them secure an impressive second-placed finish.

His performances are understood to have impressed Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, who managed for a number of years in Germany, but now Blues manager Antonio Conte has declared his interest in the highly-rated midfielder.

With Champions League football to come next term and extra matches as a result, Conte is keen to relieve PFA Player of the Year N’Golo Kante of some of his workload and sees Keita as a natural alternative.

How good has Keita been this season?

He has been excellent.

In 29 Bundesliga appearances this term he has scored eight goals and provided a further eight assists to show how influential he can be from an attacking point of view.

But as a box-to-box midfielder the defensive side of his game is also strong.

Where would he fit in at Chelsea?

As we alluded to previously, Keita would probably be seen as competition for Kante as they have similar attributes.

That said, the 22-year-old certainly seems to be more effective in attacking areas and that could mean that he could also play alongside Kante in the middle of the park too when required.

Would the Blues pay £25m?

They probably would, yes.

Keita is one of the most highly-rated and in demand young midfielders in Europe and Conte wouldn’t worry about paying £25m for a player that has so much potential – in fact, it could turn out to be something of a bargain.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, there is no doubt that the 22-year-old will be a target for a number of top clubs this summer and if Chelsea could win the race for his signature it would be another statement of intent, and he certainly has the ability to strengthen the squad.