It is not often that a player from the smaller clubs in the Premier League rejects a move to Manchester United but Burnley’s Michael Keane has done exactly that, according to recent reports. Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United boss has already spent on Victor Lindelof this summer and it is understandable that the 24-year old did not want to be a backup yet again at Old Trafford.
But the fact that he rejected a return to Manchester will now make him a slightly more exciting target for one Liverpool. The Reds are searching high and dry for a centre back to improve on their defensive frailties from the last few years and are no closer to landing their top transfer target Virgil van Dijk. So should they look at Keane?
Jurgen Klopp has used Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip as the first choice for most of the season and the duo has been impressive together. Matip seems to have impressed Klopp and is expected to keep his place in the first team. Lovren, on the other hand, has been a mixed bag and his inconsistency is something Liverpool cannot afford in the next season.
The former Celtic star Virgil van Dijk could have solved this problem for years to come but Liverpool have dug themselves a hole in the middle of the road to signing him and are not able to get to the other end. They are already looking at alternatives and have had a bid rejected for Stefan de Vrij from Lazio and it might just time to look at a local talent in Keane.
The English star had a stellar season at the back for the Clarets as he established himself as one of the best defenders in the league, earning a national call-up under Gareth Southgate. Known for his no-nonsense defending, Keane is strong and dominant in the air and is a genuinely gritty defender.
He is one of the toughest players to beat in one-on-one situations and his concentration levels mean that he is hardly ever error prone. He may give away a couple of free-kicks, unnecessary ones, but is strong, stubborn and a rock at the back.
Liverpool fans will feel that it will be a drop in intent from the club if they settle for Keane after getting ready to pay £60m for Van Dijk but if the Dutchman does not make it to Anfield before the deadline day, Liverpool should surely look at the Burnley defender as a possible option. But at the moment, they need to be looking for someone more established, to help compete at the highest stage next season.
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