In Focus: Liverpool considering Keita Balde Diao move

According to ESPN FC, Liverpool are keeping a close eye on Lazio attacker Keita Balde Diao, with head coach Jurgen Klopp considering a move for the 22-year-old this summer.

What’s the story?

It is expected to be a busy summer at Anfield as Klopp looks to assemble a squad capable of competing in both the Premier League and Champions League during the 2017-18 campaign.

A number of players have been linked with a move to Liverpool in recent weeks, but according to ESPN FC, there is a new name on the wanted list in the shape of Lazio attacker Keita.

It has been claimed that the Premier League club have a long-standing interest in Keita, and have indeed scouted the attacker’s performances on a regular basis since the start of the 2014-15 season.

AC Milan and Juventus have previously been linked with a move, although it is understood that Liverpool are confident of enticing the exciting forward to the Premier League this summer.

What are Keita’s credentials?

Keita, 22, actually spent seven years in the Barcelona academy between 2004 and 2011, before leaving the Spanish giants to link-up with Lazio.

The forward made his first-team debut for the Italian outfit during the 2013-14 campaign, and managed 10 goals in his first couple of seasons, before netting 16 league goals last term.

The Senegal international, who is valued at £14.4m by transfermarkt.co.uk, only actually started 21 Serie A matches during the 2016-17 season, but managed 16 goals and three assists in what was easily his finest year since arriving in Italian football.

Keita’s mentality has previously been called into question, and he was sanctioned during his time at Barcelona after placing an ice-cube in a teammate’s bed as part of a practical joke.

The attacker has matured over the last 12 months, however, and it seems that Liverpool boss Klopp views the Senegalese as the perfect player to boost his forward-line for next season’s assault on the Premier League.