Liverpool are preparing a move in signing RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita for a club-record transfer fee of £50m ($64m).
According to the Mirror, Jurgen Klopp has identified the Guinea international as the number one target in the summer transfer window. He has been a key player in the German club's impressive campaign in the 2016/17 campaign which saw them finish second in the league and also secure an automatic qualification for the next season's Champions League.
Keita has bagged eight goals and registered seven assists in as many league appearances. His form for Leipzig has seen the Bundesliga outfit slap a £50m price tag to fend off any interest from the potential suitors.
However, the price tag is unlikely to deter the Reds as the former Borussia Dortmund manager believes the 22-year-old is one of the best players in that position. Klopp has informed Liverpool's hierarchy to break the club's transfer record in bringing Keita to Anfield.
The same report claims that Liverpool are headed for the largest summer spending spree in the club's history as they look to bolster the squad for the next season. It is believed the Merseyside club are ready to spend upwards of £150m ($192.1m) in the summer transfer window.
Liverpool's previous club-record fee was £35m ($44.8m) they paid to Newcastle United in signing striker Andy Carroll in January 2011. Liverpool are ready to break that record in order to make Keita the most expensive signing in the club's history.
The midfielder's impressive form has seen him make it to the Bundesliga Team of the Season. Leipzig chief executive officer Oliver Mintzlaff is determined to not let any of his players leave the club in the summer transfer window.
"We have decided that we will not sell any player from our starting line-up. Ralf Rangnick [sporting director] told this to our team at the end of the season. We will keep our team together and keep on developing," Mintzlaff explained, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
The Times reports that an offer of around £50m will force Leipzig to consider their stance on their star midfielder. It should be seen whether Liverpool can convince the German outfit to part ways with Keita in the summer.
Klopp's side are in a strong position to attract top talents after qualifying for the Champions League following a fourth place finish in the league. Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard remains confident that Klopp's influence can help the Reds in completing star signings.