Lazio try to lock up Liverpool target

SS Lazio fans

Lazio are aiming to agree a new contract with talented young forward Keita Balde Diao to try and prevent the attentions of the likes of Liverpool.

Keita Balde Diao is turning heads with his excellent performances for Lazio and club president Claudio Lotito is trying to ensure he doesn't walk away from the Aquile.

The Senegalese-Spanish forward scored against Cagliari at the weekend and has four goals in 16 games this season.

Having developed in the Barcelona youth system, the 19-year-old was famously exiled after playing a prank on a teammate during a tour to Qatar at the age of 15 that reportedly involved putting an ice cube in his bed.

Lazio were the beneficiaries in the long term as they swooped to sign Keita for just £250,000 and have seen him go from strength to strength.

Liverpool were said to be considering a swoop in January and may now wish they had approached Lazio as Keita has been superb since and his value is steadily rising.

Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport today reports that Lazio are offering Keita a pay rise from just over £200,000 per year to around £335,000.

However, while that raise is a sign of Lazio's belief in Keita's talents, the wage would be eclipsed by the kind of sums that could be offered by a club like Liverpool.

It still looks likely that Keita will be the target of some tempting proposals in the summer and could leave Italy.

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