The lowdown: Ward at work
Following the departure of highly-regarded sporting director Michael Edwards, the passing of the baton to Julain Ward has seemingly proved to be a seamless transition.
So far in his first summer in the role, the 41-year-old has already secured the arrivals of Fabio Carvalho, Calvin Ramsay and the big-money capture of Darwin Nunez, the club’s record signing at £85m.
It now looks as though the man behind the deals is setting his sights on securing the future of two more current Reds…
The latest: Keita and Jota next
As per The Mirror, Liverpool are now turning their attentions to contract extensions for midfielder Keita and forward Jota.
It’s claimed that the Anfield club will look to open discussions in the ‘coming weeks’, with the Merseysiders ‘keen to extend’ the stay of the £22.5m-rated Guinea captain, who is already into the final 12 months of his Reds deal.
The report added that £54m-rated Jota, who was branded ‘exceptional’ by pundit Tony Cascarino earlier this year, is also ‘in line to receive a bumper pay rise’ following a brilliant start to life under Jurgen Klopp which has seen the 25-year-old score 34 times in 85 outings.
The verdict: Show of faith
Handing former Wolves star Jota a fresh contract is somewhat of a no-brainer, given the remarkable impact he has had since arriving at Liverpool, surpassing the expectations of most.
However, the decision to offer Keita a renewal at this juncture could still be considered a risk when taking into account the Guinean’s wretched injury record, having missed 62 matches following his move from RB Leipzig in 2018.
Should Liverpool give Keita a new deal?
While there were signs of a marked improvement in terms of availability last season as the dynamic midfielder made 40 appearances across all competitions for Klopp’s side, there is certainly no guarantee that there will be a prolonged clean bill of health for the 50-cap midfielder during the upcoming campaign.
That said, securing the futures of those within first-team plans will add to the stability that Klopp himself has enhanced when signing his own contract extension in April, and this is just another sign of the German getting his ducks in arow for the long-term at Anfield.
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