Liverpool are ready to test RB Leipzig’s resolve over top midfield-target Naby Keita.
Money-bags Leipzig insist they do not want to sell the £70million-rated Keita on the back of his excellent first season in the Bundesliga.
Chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff claims it would be “irresponsible” to cash in on the Guinea international before their first Champions League campaign.
Liverpool want to discover if Leipzig and Mintzlaff’s talk is just bluster and are keen to open talks over a fee.
The Reds broke their transfer record to land Mohamed Salah from Roma for £36.9million and are prepared to smash it to sign Keita in a sign of how serious they are about bringing him to Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp has identified the African as his No 1 target in midfield and Liverpool are willing to bankroll his pursuit of him.
Keita, 22, is in demand and he was one of the Bundesliga’s star performers last season, scoring eight goals and making seven assists from midfield.
Ηe appears lukewarm to Liverpool’s advances and excluded them when he recently spoke about wanting to play for Europe’s “very big clubs” such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City.
Liverpool also remain interested in Hull City’s Andy Robertson as Klopp continues his search for a left-back.
The Reds ended their interest in Ryan Sessegnon when it became clear he would sign his new deal at Fulham and Robertson is on their radar.
They have watched the Scotland international extensively over the last two seasons and feel he could be an alternative to James Milner at left-back as they look to move out Alberto Moreno.
Hull boss Leonid Slutsky is prepared to cash in on Robertson to fund his own signings and would want at least £10million for him.