Dortmund "hot for" Liverpool star - £100m+ midfielder could move the other way
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Borussia Dortmund are targeting Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita as a replacement for Jude Bellingham, who could move the other way.
Bellingham has been the subject of interest from several European clubs for some time, and this speculation has only increased in the last week, with the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid said to be eyeing up moves for the starlet.
The Reds are reportedly in the market for a new midfielder, and multiple reliable outlets have suggested that Bellingham will be their top target in 2023.
Dortmund were reportedly unwilling to sell their 19-year-old wonderkid last summer, as they didn’t want to lose him and Erling Haaland in the same window.
However, there appears to be a growing acceptance within the German club that they will lose Bellingham next year and that they are already planning on life without him.
Liverpool’s Naby Keita has supposedly been identified as a potential replacement, with Bild reporting that Dortmund are monitoring the Guinean’s contractual situation and they are "hot for" the player.
Keita’s current deal expires next summer and although there have been rumours that the Merseyside club are keen to offer him an extension, advanced negotiations have not been reported as of yet and the 27-year-old may be beginning to consider his options.
The playmaker’s time at Anfield has been plagued by injuries and a return to the familiar settings of the Bundesliga, where he thrived for RB Leipzig between 2016 and 2018, may be appealing.
In Bellingham’s absence, Dortmund would not lose the creative assets the former Birmingham man possesses with the introduction of Keita, who has been praised with his ability to create from midfield.
The 27-year-old would add exceptional ball progression through dribbling and passing, as well as elite pressing to a Dortmund side that is currently struggling to breach Bayern Munich’s undisputed position as the best side in Germany.
Question marks stand around Keita’s durability, having never made more than 25 league appearances in a single Premier League season, but if he can stay fit there is no doubt this would be a coup for Dortmund if they can acquire him on a free transfer.