Footy Extras

Liverpool news round-up: Williams attracts interest, Reds on alert, Leicester chase Keita

Domestic rivals pursuing 19-year-old Liverpool defender

Southampton do hold an interest in Liverpool defender Neco Williams and could try to land him on a loan deal this summer, according to The Athletic.

The 19-year-old Welsh ace has made 13 appearances for Liverpool this campaign in all competitions and is rated as a big talent at the club.

But he is still not a first-team player at Anfield and there are suggestions that several sides could look to snare him away in the summer.

Southampton want to bring in a full-back at the end of the campaign and it has been claimed that the Saints are keen on Williams.

The south coast outfit are considering making a swoop for the teenage full-back during the summer transfer market.

His ability to play both as a left-back and a right-back is a big draw for Southampton who want to bolster that area of their squad.

They’re planning to do a deal similar to that which saw Kyle Walker-Peters move from Tottenham Hotspur to the club on an initial loan deal and was later signed on a permanent move.

But it remains to be seen whether Jurgen Klopp’s team are interested in letting one of their top youngsters leave.

Southampton failed with an attempt to snap up Brandon Williams from Manchester United in the winter transfer market as well.

Liverpool face fresh competition in pursuit of Bundesliga defender

Liverpool are reportedly no longer alone in the race to land Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in the summer transfer market.

The French under-21 star is also the subject of interest from Manchester United regarding a possible transfer ahead of next season, according to a recent report by Eurosport.

The Anfield outfit seem to be making amends on the defensive front this summer at long last after having chosen not to replace now-Zenit player Dejan Lovren last summer.

It took the long-term injuries to Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk to force their hand, but the Reds did enter the market to land Ozan Kabak on loan and Ben Davies permanently.

However, there are no guarantees that Ozan will be signed permanently, while Ben is yet to make a single appearance for Liverpool because of fitness issues.

Therefore, it is not hard to see why Jurgen Klopp’s side remain in the market for a centre-half, with a move for Konate being mooted.

Like Liverpool, fitness woes have plagued centre-halves at Manchester United, with Victor Lindelof being bothered by a chronic back problem, while Eric Bailly has struggled to remain healthy for stretched periods over the course of his stint at United.

That leaves record singing Harry Maguire as the only recognised option at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s disposal, with youngster Axel Tuanzebe lacking experience at the highest level.

With that in mind, Ibrahima has emerged as one of the targets for United.

Leicester set their sights on move to sign £30m star from Liverpool

Leicester City are keeping a close eye on Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita ahead of the summer transfer window, Football Insider understands.

The 26-year-old midfielder has become a bit-part player at Liverpool since becoming the club’s third most expensive acquisition in history in 2018.

A Reds recruitment source has told Football Insider that the Foxes would be interested in Keita if the star becomes available in the next window.

Manager Brendan Rodgers is a huge admirer of the Guinea international midfielder’s energy and quality on the ball.

At Liverpool, Naby has slipped behind Fabinho, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcantara and youngster Curtis Jones in the central midfield pecking order.

Naby was an unused substitute for last weekend’s 3-0 win against Arsenal even though Jordan was injured and Georginio benched.

It was revealed in February that Keita’s future at the club is up in the air going into the summer as his price tag plummets.

Naby has been ravaged by injury and availability problems since his £52.5 million move from RB Leipzig back in 2018.

Liverpool now value the player at up to £30m amid the growing expectation that he won’t now be the dominant midfielder the club hoped when waiting a year for him to arrive.

Keita has shown glimpses of star quality during his three campaigns but never the required level of consistency.

He has been unable to match his regular goal contributions at former sides Leipzig and RB Salzburg.

At Liverpool, Keita has netted just seven times in 76 appearances and has not netted or assisted in 15 games this season.