Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has been included in Guinea’s 25-man provisional squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations, despite it not being clear whether he will be fit for the tournament.
It comes two days after the Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp revealed Keita was ahead of schedule in his recovery from the thigh injury he picked up at Barcelona in the Champions League on 1 May.
Klopp had initially said Keita would be out for two months.
Guinea’s coach Paul Put had said they would seek a second medical opinion on Keita’s injury.
Keita, 24, is part of Liverpool’s 26-man squad currently in Spain ahead of next weekend’s Uefa Champions League final against Tottenham, although Klopp told the Liverpool FC website that the midfielder will only return to action if he is “100 per cent fit”.
Other key players included in Guinea’s squad are in-form Bordeaux striker Francois Kamano, Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara and the Syli National skipper Ibrahima Traore who plays for Borussia Monchengladbach.
Three players with dual nationality are called up for the first time. They are France-born Brentford defender Julian Jeanvier, former French youth international Fode Koita and Mikael Dyrestam who has featured in two friendly internationals for Sweden’s national team.
Two players who committed their international future to Guinea during the 2019 Nations Cup qualifiers, Simon Falette and Ernest Boka Seka, are also included in the squad.
Defender Mohamed Aly Camara, who recently won the Swiss League with Young Boys, is left out due to injury.
Lass Bangoura who plays for MLS club Vancouver Whitecaps and the Pogba brothers Mathias and Florentin continued to be overlooked by coach Put who will unveil his final 23-man squad on 14 June.
A further list of six players have been put on standby by the Syli National coach.
Guinea will begin their Nations Cup preparations on 28 May in Conakry and will then head to Marrakech for a two-week training camp when they will play warm-up matches against The Gambia on 7 June and Benin four days later.
Their third and final preparation match will be against Nations Cup hosts Egypt in Alexandria on 16 June.
Guinea have been drawn in Group B with three times African champions Nigeria and debutants Madagascar and Burundi.
They will face Madagascar in their opening match on 22 June before facing Nigeria four days later.
Guinea will wrap up their group campaign with a match against Burundi on 30 June.
BBC News Africa