By Matt Farr
Tottenham have joined the race to sign highly-rated RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita this summer, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that Mauricio Pochettino has identified the German Bundesliga sensation in a bid to strengthen his midfield reinforcements ahead of next season.
Keita, 22, has been in superb form for the German club this season, contributing seven goals and eight assists from 25 appearances in all competitions.
The Guinea international has also reportedly caught the eye of Premier League rivals Liverpool, and it is believed that the Reds hold the advantage as the midfielder holds the same agent as Anfield star Sadio Mane.
However, Tottenham will be determined not to let a key target slip away from their grasp, particularly if they have Champions League football on offer next season.
The potential arrival of Keita would be a significant boost ahead of Europe’s premier competition next term, as star midfielder Dele Alli will miss the first three games due to suspension.
Despite featuring regularly as a holding-midfielder this season, Keita offers Pochettino a number of options in the midfield with his eye for goal likely to see him play a key role further forward.
But Keita is still only a new arrival at the highly-flying German club, joining from Red Bull Salzburg last summer, and their reluctance to sell is likely to see him offered a fresh deal.
Football Insider verdict
Keita has been one of the standout performers during a surprise season for RB Leipzig that has seen them challenge at the top of the Bundesliga table. His goals, assists, and overall contributions have been imperative to their cause, but now some of Europe’s big boys are circling. He has also proven fantastic at winning back possession and breaking up play, which gives Pochettino a similar option to Victor Wanyama – but with more goals. He would fit very well into Tottenham’s system, but he main stumbling block will be his transfer fee. Keita is nearing the end of only his first year with the club, and is contracted until 2020; so Leipzig will want a huge transfer fee.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Spurs have made an offer to sign this soon-to-be-available assist machine, with a £98,000-per-week offer on the table.