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Lazio to tie Liverpool target down to new contract

Lazio are set to extend the contract of young talent Keita Balde Diao, who is reportedly amongst the names on Liverpool's shopping list.

Keita Balde Diao is a superstar in the making, according to most Italian pundits, and Lazio are keen to make sure he doesn't leave cheaply.

Lazio continue to produce and develop gifted young players who are often sold off to bigger clubs to keep the Biancocelesti solvent.

The Eternal City side may cash in on Nigerian midfielder Ogenyi Onazi in the summer and 19-year-old Keita may also be on his way out.

Liverpool and Manchester City are said to be keeping an eye on Keita's progress while the player's agent has put a price tag of around £12.5m on him.

Gifted winger Keita was born in Catalonia to Senegalese parents and developed in Barcelona's youth system before being sold to Lazio via satellite club UE Cornella after playing a practical joke on a teammate while on tour.

Lazio signed him for around £200,000 and look set to make a vast profit having seen Keita develop this season from youth team star to an asset in the senior side.

It's not just Keita's four impressive goals this season that have made him a hot property but the way he is willing to take defenders on and his vision for the killer pass.

According to Sportmediaset, Lazio have all but agreed to extend Keita's contract from 2017 to 2018, which will bring with it a significant pay rise.

The purpose of the extension is most likely to raise the amount Lazio can charge for Keita should Liverpool or another giant come calling in the summer.

While £12.5m may seem a lot to pay for a player who has only made 20 professional appearances, it could be a fantastic investment.

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