By Harry Sykes
The odds on Liverpool signing Burnley centre-back Michael Keane in the January transfer window have been slashed.
Bookies Sky Bet placed odds of 18/1 last week on the Merseysiders landing the Manchester United academy product in the summer transfer window.
The odds on Liverpool signing Keane have now been narrowed by Sky Bet to 2/1 in a clear sign that a series of significant bets have been placed on the possibility of the transfer being sealed.
Everton remain the favourites in the betting, although their odds of 5/4 are only marginally shorter than their cross-city rivals.
The Merseyside duo are a long way ahead of the other two teams priced in the Keane race, Manchester City (16/1) and Southampton (18/1).
Keane’s stock has risen considerably since the start of the season, having twice been called up to England squads by Gareth Southgate and reportedly caught the eye of a string of Premier League outfits.
Keane started his career at United but has risen to the threshold of international football at Burnley, who he joined from Old Trafford initially on a half-season loan before completing a permanent transfer in January 2015.
Keane has been an ever-present for Burnley this season, starting all 29 of Burnley’s Premier League encounters alongside fellow mainstay Ben Mee.
Sean Dyche’s side have eased clear of the relegation places and went into the international break eight points clear of the drop zone with nine matches remaining.
Football Insider verdict:
Even if Burnley avoid the drop this season, it will be difficult for them to keep hold of Keane. The defender is fast becoming the next big English defender, and is almost certain to make the step up to one of the Premier League’s top clubs. However, none need a proven PL defender quite like Liverpool, and Klopp should be doing everything he can to ensure it is Liverpool that win the race for his signature. Klopp has narrowed his search to foreign talent of late, with defensive duo Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan all joining from abroad last summer, but he should look much closer to home for this one.
In other Liverpool transfer news, Stan Collymore believes the club should cash-in on this attacker in the summer.