REAL MADRID have reportedly “considered” offering Liverpool a mega £96m for Anfield-bound Naby Keita.
Keita emerged as one of Liverpool’s top transfer targets last summer as Jurgen Klopp looked to add some dynamism to his midfield. But RB Leipzig were unwilling to part with the Guinea international ahead of their debut season in Europe and rebuffed several bids.
Liverpool and Leipzig ultimately struck a £48m deal which will see Keita move to Merseyside when the 2018 summer transfer window opens on July 1.
Real supposedly showed late interest in getting the 23-year-old on-board themselves as Liverpool put the finishing touches to an agreement.
Bleacher Report have now claimed a Spanish source has indicated the La Liga giants have “considered” making a mega offer for Keita before he’s even kicked a ball for Liverpool.
They say Real Madrid would table a shock bid of double what Liverpool have agreed to hand Leipzig for the Conakry-born ace – £96m.
Bleacher Report state it is unknown whether news of Real’s continued interest in signing Keita has made it back to Anfield.
But a Liverpool insider has suggested Real would be wasting their time even trying to get the Reds to entertain the idea of letting go of Keita.
“There is no way Liverpool would agree to sell him before he has played a game,” the insider told Bleacher Report.
Keita will report for pre-season training at Melwood with his new Liverpool team-mates after his move goes through in July.
But Klopp has invited him to the Champions League final, where he could rub shoulders with his soon-to-be fellow Liverpool stars.
“Bringing [Keita] in the dining room and saying: ‘Boys, he will play for you next season!’ doesn’t really make any sense. It’s not my first problem, but I will think about it,” said Klopp, looking ahead to the showdown with Real.
“I have not been thinking about things like this, but if Naby is reading this and he wants to come with us to the final, he is invited!
“Hopefully, Naby will have a big effect on the team immediately because of his quality.”