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Who is the Barcelona product Liverpool hope to land from Lazio?

| 06.10.2014

Although a recent win over West Brom masked it, Liverpool are far from the feared attacking unit that fired them to the Premier League’s silver medal last season. As a result, Brendan Rodgers’ forward-buying addiction isn’t going anywhere.

In a mad scramble to find enough players to fill the hole left by the man who shall not be named, the Rodgers signed five players capable of replacing him and, as yet, is still waiting to find out if they’re capable of doing so.

The longer he waits, the greater the likelihood of more signings being made and according to the latest whispers from the gossip pages, Lazio’s Keita Balde Diao is a prime candidate.

Born in the Catalonian province of Girona, Keita started life in football as part of Barcelona’s illustrious La Masia academy, but fell out of favour with the club before being sent on loan to UE Cornella.

There was no doubting the forward’s talent, despite the fall out, and 47 goals in one season of youth football for the Spanish minnows ensured powerhouses like Real Madrid and Manchester United took notice.

Although the Blaugrana were keen to secure Keita’s return, the player declined the opportunity signing instead for Lazio in the summer of 2011.

He made his first-team bow last term and featured 25 times in Serie A for the Biancocelesti, scoring five times.

The 19-year-old also featured in the Europa League that season, proving his decision to develop his career in Italy a wise one.

However, regular starts have been harder to come by this campaign, leaving Keita frustrated and exploring future options.

Liverpool have long admired the player’s ability and even made a move for him last summer. Lazio’s asking price proved a stumbling block back then, but with a lowered figure now mooted, Rodgers could have another attacking player to shoehorn into his side as early as January.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.