Liverpool edge closer to sealing contract extension with Naby Keita as it will be cheaper than a transfer replacement

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LIVERPOOL are close to sealing an extension with Naby Keita as he enters the final year of his contract.

Keita has arguably been a very rare blemish on the Reds’ near-flawless record in the past few years.

Yet Kop money men are keen to keep the Guinea midfielder, 27, despite a mixed time at Anfield since his £52.75million moves from RB Leipzig in 2018.

That is because it would cost a fortune to replace Keita in their squad and they would prefer to retain him even if he is not first choice.

There have been conflicting reports of late regarding the future of Guinea international Keita with some suggesting he is about to start talks over a new deal and others linking him with a swap deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

According to a new report, the 27-year-old is not interested in renewing his contract at Anfield and could leave for free next summer.

Keita could be talked into staying put if the terms are right after winning every major trophy with the Reds.

He was ruled out of Liverpool’s shock opening day draw against Fulham through illness.

Keita saw pal Sadio Mane leave Anfield this summer for Bayern Munich as Jurgen Klopp shuffles his pack.

Klopp splashed a fee rising to £85m on Benfica’s Darwin Nunez to replace Mane.

And it is a move Liverpool legend Pepe Reina hailed as a game-changer heading into the new season.

Reina said: “Darwin and Mane are two great players of a certain stature.

“Let’s find out what Darwin can bring to the squad with the help of his team-mates.

“But this swap makes sense and it can be a great thing for the club.

“Liverpool have a great variety of players but they needed someone who can hold up the ball and play one-two passes.

“And thanks to Darwin they are perfect in attack.”

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