RB Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl spoke to Sky Sport Germany on Saturday to reiterate a public stance that Naby Keita is not for sale. As reported in This is Anfield earlier in the day. Despite this there may a change of fortune for Liverpool.
The tide is beginning to turn
Sporting director Ralf Rangnick is against any sale, but business elements within the club have accepted the position that an official approach for €75 million (£65.7 million) would be ‘ridiculous’ to turn down.
There appears now to be a very real split within the club. Although Leipzig do not need to finance new arrivals with sales, there is an opinion that an improved offer on the bid turned down last week would see the deal over the final line.
The Guinean only arrived at the RedBull Arena 12 months ago for €15 million, and the fact Liverpool are preparing to offer close to five times that value—for a player only proven over one season—has started to appeal to businessmen within the club.
Desperate to join Liverpool
Keita is desperate to join the Reds, encouraged throughout by talk of the club from fellow Arena11Sports client, Sadio Mane: the Liverpool attacker has settled into life on Merseyside quickly and has convinced Keita that he could do the same.
Guinean journalist, Amadou Makadji, broke the news that Manchester City had spoken to the player’s agency about a move to the Etihad, with Keita responding that he only wishes to play for Jurgen Klopp.
Leipzig’s outward approach may be a final attempt to save face after a nine-week long stance of ‘no means no’. There was a real feeling within the Bundesliga side that Liverpool would not make an official offer that could be considered good business; their opening offer of €65 million was not expected and has raised serious discussions behind the scenes.
Keita didn’t take part in Leipzig’s first a pre-season friendly after complaining stomach ache—he did, though, make an appearance in the 2017/18 squad photoshoot on Saturday morning.
Discussing payment already
Liverpool have already enquired about potential payment structures for any necessary fee according to sources within the Bundesliga club.
Leipzig would be keen to receive the cash rather than a complicated transfer fee involving multiple payments based around his performance at Liverpool.
Such a structure of any payment would require lengthy discussions even in the event of a fee being agreed.
A further bid from Liverpool is expected early next week, we now wait to see if it is good enough!