Barcelona have joined Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain in the race to sign RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, as per reports.
Spanish journal Mundo Deportivo have reported that promising young midfielder Naby Keita is on the radar of Barcelona, and the Blaugrana have registered an interest in him. The RB Leipzig star is also being followed by the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.
Keita has risen to prominence this season with RB Leipzig, with the East German club making waves in the Bundesliga in their charge up to second in the table, having only been promoted to the German top flight at the end of the previous campaign.
The 22-year-old Guinea international has been one of the success stories for Leipzig with his explosive performances in the centre of the park. Keita has impressed immensely with his technical skills, agility, pacy recovery and smart reading of the game.
He is primarily a holding midfielder, but Keita has not restricted himself from contributing in attack. He has not only initiated quick counter attack by rotating the ball quickly and retaining possession smartly, but has himself chipped in with four goals and eight assists 22 appearances in all competitions this season.
With Keita being so impressive in his debut season in Bundesliga, he is being touted as one of the most highly rated young midfielders in Europe, and clubs are beginning to show interest. Arsenal and PSG were the first two clubs to be linked with a move for Keita before being joined by Liverpool in his pursuit.
Arsene Wenger has an abundance of central midfield talents at his disposal but is still in search of a midfielder in the summer. That is because Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny have been largely unconvincing this term, while Granit Xhaka has been inconsistent, with Francis Coquelin also being poor this season.
With lynchpin Santi Cazorla’s season being hampered massively by a spate of injuries and with little clarity on the future of loanee Jack Wilshere, it is not hard to see why the Arsenal manager is looking to add another midfielder to his squad in the summer.
PSG manager, like his Arsenal counterpart, also has several top quality midfielders in his squad. But Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot have been linked with moves away from Parc des Princes, he could be in the market for holding midfielder in the summer.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, doesn’t quite have a similar luxury at Anfield, and has had to depend heavily on captain Jordan Henderson to influence games from midfield. With Emre Can blowing hot and cold, it is not hard to see why the Reds are tailing Keita.
However, the three clubs are now set to be joined by Barcelona in the race to sign the 22-year-old, with technical director Robert Fernandez having Keita scouted on several occasions this season. In fact, the reports states that Keita has been on Fernandez’s agenda for some years now, with Barcelona monitoring his progress closely.
While strengthening midfield might not be a priority for Barcelona in the summer, with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Rafinha, Denis Suarez and the improving Andre Gomes all in the squad. But Keita’s possible acquisition could see him being earmarked as the long-term successor to Busquets in front of the back four.
With the Catalan giants joining the chase for Keita, an all out bidding war could be on the cards for the Guinean international in the summer. It will now be interesting to see if Keita indeed moves on from the Red Bull Arena come June.