After leaving Barcelona two summers ago for Chinese outfit Dalian Aerbin, Keita sprung a surprise in January by returning to La Liga with Valencia.
The Mali international signed on for a six-month stay at the Mestalla, and showed he has plenty left in the tank even at 34 in 16 starts for Los Che across all competitions.
And now, the defensive midfielder is in demand. Keita is believed to have turned down the offer of an extension from Valencia in order to join a club playing Champions League football next term.
Liverpool, who the Malian admitted he held talks with in January, have been credited with keen interest in securing his services this summer ahead of their return to Europe’s elite competition.
But Serie A giants Roma have also been lurking in hopes of landing the experienced two-time European champion - and now it appears they have beaten the Reds in the race for his signature.
According to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, Keita has agreed terms with the Giallorossi and will join on a free transfer with a one-year contract with the option for a second season.
CalcioNews24 reported earlier in the day that a deal had been struck, but claimed sporting director Walter Sabatini was hesitant to complete negotiations because Keita would be unavailable during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Sabatini’s fears seem to have been allayed, however, and Di Marzio has claimed Keita will officially sign with Roma in the next few days.
If Keita is indeed confirmed as a new Roma player Liverpool will be left to search elsewhere for reinforcements in midfield, having missed out on a cost-effective veteran option.