Keita Balde Diao’s agent has confirmed that a number of Premier League clubs have enquired about a loan move for the Lazio forward this month, but not Arsenal and Liverpool, who the Daily Star claim are chasing him.
In an exclusive interview with Lalaziosiamonoi.it, Ulisse Savini revealed that there has been a great deal of interest in his client in recent weeks, but stressed that neither a short-term nor permanent switch is anticipated to happen in the current transfer window.
“Keita, even when not playing, attracts attention,” he said. “We have also called for loans, but our goal is to win back his place. I do not think that will go away in January; we have a long contract and we want to keep it.”
Born in Spain to Senegalese parents, Keita, 19, was brought up through Barcelona’s famed La Masia before moving on to Lazio in 2011, despite reported interest from the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, according to the Daily Mail.
Establishing himself as a regular in the first team last season, with six goals in 33 total appearances, the promising teenager was understood to have attracted the attention of both Arsenal and Liverpool in the summer, but Sky Sports insisted that neither club were willing to match the reported £24 million asking price.
While he has since struggled to keep his place in the side, making just seven Serie A appearances this term for a total 277 minutes, Premier League interest remains, although Savini has stressed that it is now clubs lower down the table who are courting his services.
"Both teams in Serie A and Premier League teams have asked to loan him for six months,” he said. “For the moment we declined, but I expect to have more bids in the future. Arsenal and Liverpool? It’s not them who contacted me, but teams from slightly lower."