Man Utd game ‘very important’ for Liverpool player who is considering transfer exit

Jurgen Klopp previews Liverpool's trip to Man Utd

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Liverpool’s trip to Manchester United is ‘very important’ in the mind of Naby Keita as he considers his future, according to reports. The midfielder is claimed to be unhappy with his game time at Anfield and talks over a new contract have stalled.

Keita has struggled with injuries since joining Liverpool from RB Leipzig in 2018. However, he featured 40 times in all competitions last term, the most matches he has played in a single campaign for the Reds.

The Guinea international missed the opening game of the season due to illness and was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace last Monday. With Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both absent through injury, Keita is hopeful of playing a big part against rivals United at Old Trafford.

Jurgen Klopp hit back at claims Keita could leave at his pre-match press conference last week. But German football reporter Florian Plettenberg says a departure is still possible because of the 27-year-old’s desire to be a regular starter.

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Plettenberg tweeted: “Update #Keita: Very important game against @ManUtd regarding his plans in this transfer window. Nothing has changed.

“#LFC wants to extend, Klopp wants him to stay. But talks have stopped, an agreement is not in sight at this stage. He wants to play regularly.”

Plettenberg broke the story last week that Keita was not happy with his role at Liverpool. He claimed talks were set to be held between the two parties over his future.

Plettenberg wrote: “Excl. News Naby #Keita: He is unhappy with his current situation in Liverpool. There were talks about a contract extension but they have stopped now.

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“His departure is possible regardless of Thiago and Oxlade-Chamberlain. But early stage. Talks will take place. #LFC @SkySportDE”

Klopp admitted any player should be unhappy if he is not playing. But he said there was no issue with regards to Keita wanting to leave.

Klopp commented: “I have to respond on ‘news’ but if you learn on my side 0.0 per cent is behind the news. He was ill, now he is in training and looking really good.

“Not a player overly happy when he’s not playing, but nor should he be, so it’s completely fine.” Keita will be competing with the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Fabinho for a starting spot at Old Trafford as both sides look for their first win of the season.

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