Inter have opened talks with Naby Keita hoping to agree a transfer for the priority Liverpool target, reports in Italy say.
Liverpool have seen two bids rejected for Keita this summer including a £66million offer that would have smashed the Reds’ current transfer record.
Keita is keen on a switch to Anfield, but Calciomercatio suggest his entourage have accepted he will play in Germany this season.
As a result, Keita’s team are working hard to put a deal in place for their midfielder to move next summer.
A release clause activates next summer with clubs able to snap Keita up for around £48m.
RB Leipzig will not be able to block the move as they have done this summer.
Inter are targeting a big spending spree in the summer of 2018 with Financial Fair Play regulations restricting their activities in the current window.
Keita has been earmarked as a marquee addition and Inter have begun initial talks with his representatives.
If a bidding war erupts next summer, with Paris Saint-Germain also reported suitors, Inter are happy to go to war over the 22-year-old.
Keita would prefer a move in the coming weeks, but Leipzig have stonewalled his attempts to force a move.
The Guinea international was involved in a training ground bust-up recently and Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick hitting at his team’s influence on him.
‘There should be someone who points them into the right direction,’ said Rangnick.
‘The boys themselves are not the problem here. It is their surroundings.
‘A whole village in Guinea or somebody from their entourage tells the players why they must do something right away. I can’t blame the players.
‘I expect them to play for us next season.
‘Both are extraordinary players who make the difference for our team.’
Rangnick has been accused of racism after those comments, but it seems as though Keita will stay at the club for another campaign.
Liverpool reportedly ended their interest after becoming convinced a third bid will be rejected out of hand by Leipzig.