Liverpool are in constant dialogue with the relevant authorities as they work to bring midfielder Naby Keita back from Guinea after an apparent military coup in the country.
The 26-year-old was on international duty in his homeland when a group of soldiers detained president Alpha Conde and volatility in the country – hours of heavy gunfire were reported around the presidential palace on Sunday – resulted in Guinea’s World Cup qualifier against Morocco on Monday being postponed.
But with all borders closed the visiting team were escorted to the airport after negotiations at embassy-level gave them special dispensation to leave Conakry.
Keita remains in Guinea but is “safe and well” and his club are working on solutions to bring him back to Merseyside.
“We are in constant contact with Naby and have had regular communication via his national team management,” said a Liverpool spokesman in a statement to the PA news agency.
“We are satisfied that he is safe and well cared for.
“Obviously the situation is fluid and we will maintain regular dialogue with the relevant authorities as we work to get Naby back to Liverpool in a timely and secure manner.”
— CAF Media (@CAF_Media) September 5, 2021
Although his current situation is not of his own making it is the latest in the three-year saga of Keita’s roller-coaster career at Anfield which has more downs than ups due to his chequered injury record.
Another midfielder who is looking for an upturn is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been at the club 12 months longer but missed 367 days with a serious knee injury and then four months at the start of last season.
The 28-year-old, who has just become a father for the first time, went on to make 17 appearances but believes the current campaign is a key one for him.
“I feel like it’s just a chance for me to kick on and put down a really good season of consistent performances and hopefully some good numbers as well in terms of goals, assists. But I guess that’s all to come,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“It doesn’t feel like a new start because it’s all been part of the journey, the story.
“But I feel like this season’s important for me to go and do something really good – hopefully on an individual level and then obviously for the team.
“I don’t really think that I’ve had, like, loads of injuries, but the ones I’ve had are big and they’ve kept me out for long spells, which I think sometimes makes people think I’m always injured. That’s a bit of a frustrating one.
“I think it’s important for me at this point to sort of try to enjoy myself, keep pushing myself as much as I can to get the most out of myself and keep helping push the team to achieve as much as you can.”