16 Nov 2014

Goal Machine: LFC fighting to sign 'extraordinary' star who smashed 47 goals in one year

In October, the Agent of Lazio starlet Keita Balde Diao - a former Barcelona youth player - confirmed that Brendan Rodgers actively tried to sign the striker over the summer, and new reports suggest that Liverpool and Arsenal are planning new bids for the attacker during the January transfer window.

In September, Balde's agent, Anglo Cascella, told reporters:

"Liverpool and Juventus made a €20m million offer for Keita last summer, but Lazio always rejected their offers".

According to reports in Italy and the UK today:

* Arsenal and Liverpool will allegedly battle to sign Balde.
* Lazio are willing to sell, but only if offers reach the €30m mark.

Liverpool have been linked with Balde several times over the last year:

SEP 2013: The Daily Mail reported that Liverpool's scouts watched the 18-year old in his debut in Lazio's 1-0 win over Legia Warsaw in the Europa League.

FEB 2014: Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato reported that the Reds were still monitoring the player.

MAR 2014: The Mirror claimed that Liverpool scouts continued to check on Balde, and his Agent insisted that the transfer fee 'cannot be less than €15m"

Some facts about Keita:

* Kicked out of Barca at 15 for playing a prank on a tour of Qatar.
* 2010-11: Scored 47 goals in one season for UE Cornellà's youth team.
* Rejected the chance to return to Barcelona.
* Currently contracted to Lazio until June 2017.
* Last season: 8 goals/9 assists in 27 apps for Lazio.
* 5 goals/assists in 8 Europa League games.

Lazio midfielder Gianmarco Falasca is a fan of Keita, and believes he's destined for great things. In December, he told LazioNews:

"Keita is an extraordinary talent. When he works, you can see he is quiet and he is really strong"

Former Lazio coach Edy Reja is also quietly confident that Keita can develop into a top class player. In a recent interview with Rai Sport, he enthused:

"I knew about Keita’s talent two years ago, he is a player who has continued to grow. If he can maintain the right level of humility and work hard, even defensively, he can do very well.”

It's unclear whether LFC made the offer before or after signing Divock Origi, but in my view, it doesn't make sense to bring in Balde with the similarly-aged Belgian striker already in the squad. Plus, both are similar players, in that they're big, strong, powerful attackers, though Balde can also play on the left-wing.

In any event, €30m? That's a ridiculously inflated transfer fee, and there's no way (IMO) that Liverpool should pay anything close to that amount.



  1. 30m for an 18yr old should not be even contemplated- we could buy a keeper and proper CB for that

  2. Other rumours going around is that Mancini wants Gerrard and Roma want Johnson.

  3. true. we should go for Breel Embolo from Basle. hes looked quality in the CL. 17 and a proper centre forward. livewire. plus he got 7 goals/3 assists in 15 games. all the top teams want him. Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern and PSG. top man

  4. Started to see a few rumours that FSG are considering BR position.

    I suspect these rumours will start becoming more popular after Leicester turn us over

  5. Origi has started for Belgium again. Loads of faith being shown in this youngster.

  6. I think this is BR's message to either shape up or ship out.

  7. we wouldn't spend 30 million on a proven world beater who is willing to join us let alone some kid who has scored like 10 goals for lazio...

  8. dont bank on it rodgers has spent 50m plus on cb and goalies and we are non the better

  9. Liverpool wont be buying anyone in the new year because there is every chance we will have a new manager .....it will bank on two things sturridge coming back staying fit and scoring and our defence getting its act together,theres a chance one of these things may happen but i cant see two of them happening so i fully expect fsg to oust Rodgers

  10. its a shame because last year we looked the real deal but then again WBA may have looked the real deal with two strikers scoring for fun....i think the aspect that is missed by not having Suarez is his ability to absorb criticism from all quarters without it affecting his game and thus deflecting criticism from his team mates

  11. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:44 pm, November 16, 2014

    Sign doumbia ,Martinez, delle alli and schniederlin (to replace gerrard) over next two windows


    bench: origi,lallana,henderson,delle alli

    when sturridge is fit he can play ahead of Martinez

    this way lfc will always ahve goals in the team and a strong midfield

    i would not spend a lot on defense maybe reid on a free and a cheap right back

  12. I doubt we would be in this current position if Rodgers had not persisted with Balotelli up on his own game after game.

    Cut off his nose to spit his face.

  13. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:48 pm, November 16, 2014

    but i think we would be worse if we had lambert and balotelli up front
    both are big,slow, league 2 quality
    even i am better then them

    we would have that one less in midfield that is why rodgers plays one striker

  14. And you say that knowing where we are in the league and how rubbish we have been.

    One word for Rodgers, delusional.

  15. So you think they will wait until Jan window is over, not giving Rodgers any money, then sack him and get a new manager to have to work without signing anyone and you think this is the best way forward?

  16. i think its a numbers game .....first of all they will have to pay Rodgers off ...then put a manger in ..then find players a new manager may want ...for me there just isnt the time,I THINK FSG WILL GIVE HIM AS MUCH TIME AS THEY CAN before the heave ho but the downside is that it wont give a new manager anytime.But its all speculation as rodgers may turn it around.I hope he does but unless he shapes things up on a tactical and selection level i cant see it happening.

  17. it will be interesting to see how he goes if balo and sturridge are both injured

  18. the problem is though that if you offer no threat the opposing team can press high ...and pressing high against a rodgers team is like kryptonite to superman

  19. What a goal Candreva weren't we linked with him as well as 100 others

  20. I can see him getting the season no matter what. I think we will buy one pkayer in Jan as the last throw of the dice. No top four and he may well be off. I honestly can't see it being before the summer though.

  21. B R aint getting ONE MORE PENNY from J H - so there is no point even discussing it

  22. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:39 pm, November 16, 2014

    Did john tell you ?
    if liverpools owner are not prepared to give the manger money and back him
    then he will be sacked

    a vote of no confidence from owners and he is out

    so think before you speak

  23. I hope you are right

  24. Lovren on bench v Italy not surprising

  25. he's just an average player, nothing more

  26. and only if we still in run for top 4 finish by then, else it is already game over for heavens knows how many more seasons before European Tourney

  27. If I remember rightly, the offer was made post-Origi. We'd have got Keita instead of Mario, I imagine. I think him and Callejon were two we tried for before we settled for Balo.

    Also: Edy Reja isn't Lazio manager anymore, JK. It's Stefano Pioli nowadays.

  28. Kovac decided he could rest him because he released Italy didn't have Balotelli in their line-up.

  29. i would have to agree. nothing so far to prove that statement wrong..

  30. "think before you speak" ??? wow..cant believe you would say that to someone

  31. The whole idea of sacking or being prepared to back him financially is someone's reply to you so it's more like read what smart people write before you speak...

  32. Keita looks a great prospect for the future, but right now they need a proven goalscrer.LFC is not as rich as CFC or Man.City to invest big money on young and rather unproven players with the hope that they will come good.Last summer Mr Rodgers spent more than 110 million pounds on inexperienced or overvalued players and we pay the penalty.

  33. To be frank with you,for me it is better to hire a new proven,experienced and well known in European football in December than to let the current manager to spend money on anyone

  34. I mean a new manager

  35. No more Youth players...f***k the youth transfer policy

  36. Ah, right. Thanks for the heads-up.