Bayern Munich are reportedly leading Arsenal, Liverpool and other European heavyweights in the race to sign RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita

Liverpool Echo have reported that Bayern Munich have established themselves as front runners in the race to sign Naby Keita. The Bundesliga heavyweights have are battling the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona to secure the services of the RB Leipzig midfielder.

The stock continues to skyrocket for Naby Keita, who has grown from strength to strength since joining RB Leipzig from sister club Red Bull Salzburg last summer.

The East German club have surprised many with their rise up to second in their maiden Bundesliga season and Keita has been one of the success stories for the club. And although primarily a holding midfielder, he has been a steady contributor in attack as well, bagging 4 goals and 8 assists in 21 Bundesliga games.

In fact, Keita has been so impressive in his debut season in the German top flight that some of the biggest clubs across Europe are starting to circle around the player who is starting to be rated as one of the most exciting young prospects in the continent.

Liverpool have been the most heavily linked club with the 22-year-old with Jurgen Klopp believed to be a huge admirer of the player’s talents. Indeed, Keita’s work rate, tenacity and ball recovery qualities make him a viable option for the Liverpool boss to consider.

Could Keita replace Xabi Alonso at the Aliianz Arena? (Photo courtesy - Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Could Keita replace Xabi Alonso at the Aliianz Arena? (Photo courtesy – Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Keita’s possible addition will also ease the burden off captain Jordan Henderson’s shoulders, with Klopp currently heavily dependent on the Englishman in midfield. Meanwhile, Arsenal are also in contention to sign Keita, with the North London club believed to be in serious need of midfield reinforcements.

Francis Coquelin has had a disastrous campaign, while the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Mohamed Elneny and summer signing Granit Xhaka have blown hot and cold all through the season. Santi Cazorla has been battling injury problems while there is little clarity over the future of Jack Wilshere.

Thus, midfield looks set to be a priority for Arsenal as Arsene Wenger’s squad lacking in the centre of the park. However, Bayern Munich seem to have left the Premier League rivals behind to race clear in the chase for Keita.

Xabi Alonso announed his retirement from football this week. And even though Carlo Ancelotti has an abundance of options in midfield with the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Arturo Vidal, Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara, Keita brings a different set of qualities to the table to make himself a viable option.

Another factor working in favour of Bayern is that they could offer Champions League football to Keita, something that Liverpool and Arsenal might not be able to next season. However, there are other suitors in the mix who can offer that too, with Barcelona and PSG also in contention.

Barcelona have already started looking for long-term replacements for Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, while PSG are in a precarious situation with uncertainty surrounding Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti.

One thing working in Liverpool’s favour is that Keita is represented by the same group as Sadio Mane, and they could turn the tide in the way of the Reds. So various factors are at play here, and it will be interesting to see how things shape up as we approach the reopening of the transfer window.

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