Big-money signing has been linked with move away from Anfield this summer
The transfer window may be months away from opening, but already the silly season has started.
How else to respond to a report over the weekend that suggested Liverpool were ready to cash in on Naby Keita?
It was claimed both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are already competing to take the Guinean back to the Bundesliga, with the Reds ready to take a hit on the £52.75million they handed over to RB Leipzig last summer.
Given Keita’s difficulties since moving to Anfield, such a tale isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
Sometimes big-money transfers don’t work out. Witness Robbie Keane, Christian Benteke and Andy Carroll, all bought by Liverpool and all, after a very short period of time, invited to try pastures new.
But the evidence suggests this won’t happen with Keita.
Even Loris Karius was given two years before it became obvious a parting of the ways was the best course of action.
And every utterance from Klopp regarding Keita has been consistently positive, while heavily hinting his best form will come next season.
Indeed, here is what was said last month about the Guinea international.
“There is still a lot to come because he is still adapting,” said Klopp.
“Sometimes it takes longer, that’s how it is. People lose patience, that’s normal – but we don’t.
“For a young boy, he made a big move from Leipzig to Liverpool; he wants to do it right.”
The numbers indicate Keita has been getting opportunities, even if his impact has been a disappointing one assist and not a single goal.
Niggling injury has been cited as once contributory. But last weekend’s visit to Fulham was only the sixth game this season Keita has missed through being unfit.
He has been an unused substitute on eight occasions, meaning the midfielder has featured in 27 of Liverpool’s 41 games, 16 as a starter. Liverpool Echo