Naby Keita wants to leave Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp stays in charge and has offered his services to Atletico Madrid, according to a Spanish report.
Injury problems, illness and poor form have all contributed to Keita being limited to just nine starts in all competitions this season.
And Spanish publication AS claims Keita ‘does not quite get along with Klopp and is looking for a way out, especially if the German remains in charge’.
AS claim Keita’s representatives have approached Atletico Madrid about a potential move in recent days but that the midfielder is not high up their wanted list.
Atletico are looking at strengthening in midfield this summer, with loanee Lucas Torreira unlikely to extend his stay and Saul Niguez’s future unclear.
But the Spanish paper claim Atletico are unlikely to make a bid for Keita, who still has two years left on his Liverpool contract.
Keita was one of the most talked-about midfielders in Europe in 2017 when Liverpool paid a then club-record fee of £48million to sign him from RB Leipzig.
But the 26-year-old has struggled to replicate the form he showed in the Bundesliga and for RB Salzburg before that.
The Guinea captain has won the Champions League and the Premier League at Liverpool but has only made 76 appearances in three seasons with the Reds.
This season has seen him on the pitch even less than the previous two campaigns, with only seven league starts and 16 appearances in all competitions, as he struggled with several injuries and also coronavirus.
Earlier this month his adviser Malick Kebe laid the blame for his client’s struggles at the door of Klopp, when he tweeted out: “The day that coach Klopp gets Naby Keita to play in his favorite role, you see what he will bring to Liverpool. He is a playmaker, not a scavenger.”
However, his comments came just two days after Klopp had publicly stated that Keita would be remaining at Anfield.
"A lot of things in this year have been really tricky," Klopp said
"We've had to change the team often, then at the moment we have to go for stability, which is what we need right now.
"Look at United. I think their defence has played around 20 games together, and that means they can make changes elsewhere because they have a proper basis.
"We have never had that. On top of that, making two or three changes in midfield just doesn't work out in football.
"People say 'try it', and you can try but only if you are sure it could nearly work out."
Klopp added: "You need stability in a football team. Other teams are too good to allow you to make eight or nine changes.
"That has hurt a few of our players this year. Naby was injured and it took a while for him to come back.
"He trains really well, I have to say, like a lot of other players he looks really well in training but this year we need stability.
"We will make changes from time to time, definitely, but it's not like we can change seven, eight, nine players and expect to win a game.
"But the long-term future of Naby Keita from my point of view is here, yes."
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