Liverpool are preparing a £70m ($90.7m) bid for RB Leipzig star Naby Keita in the summer transfer window.
According to the Times, the Reds have held discussions with the German club in regards to the possibility of signing the midfielder. The English side are hopeful to find out if Leipzig would reduce the asking price for the player.
The Merseyside club have already broken their club-record fee in signing former Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah from AS Roma. The Egyptian international cost Liverpool around £36.9m ($47.8m).
A move for Keita from the Anfield outfit will see them break their club-record fee for the second time in the same transfer window. The Premier League outfit are not put off by the midfielder's asking price.
The Reds manager Jurgen Klopp will return to the club to prepare for the pre-season and only then Liverpool are likely to table a firm offer for the player.
The Guinea international has a release clause of £48m ($62.4m) in his contract, which can only be triggered in the summer of 2018. Liverpool are unwilling to wait for one more year as they are aware of the competition they will be facing in signing him next summer.
In addition to this, the signing of Keita will further strengthen Liverpool's midfield and it will be beneficial for them as they return to the Champions League. The 22-year-old was one of the key players in Ralph Hasenhuttl's side as Leipzig finished as runners-up in the Bundesliga, behind Bayern Munich.
The second-place finish has assured Leipzig a place in the next season's Champions League. They are unlikely to allow Keita leave in the summer and their chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff already confirmed it would be "irresponsible" for the club to sanction Keita's sale.
Liverpool have so far signed Salah and Dominic Solanke this summer. Klopp's side need to move quickly if they are looking at the option of signing Keita, who has already expressed his desire to play for Real Madrid, Barcelona or the Reds' league rivals Manchester City in the future.
"I hope, however, that I have the level in two, three years and could play for one of the very big clubs. This includes Barcelona, but it also includes Real Madrid or Manchester City," Keita told German newspaper Die Welt.