Liverpool’s ongoing pursuit of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita suffered a setback this morning as the East German club insisted once again that their midfield star is not for sale, with the Guinea international likely to have to force through a move for it to come to fruition.
As reported by the Times, despite manager Jurgen Klopp being prepared to obliterate the Anfield club’s transfer record in pursuit of the Guinea international, Leipzig have made it clear that no amount of money will convince them to part with Keita, ahead of their debut season in the Champions League.
Keita, who is due to report back for pre-season for training today, may be forced to hand in a transfer request to push through a move to Liverpool this summer and potentially sacrifice any bonus.
Playing at the midfield base of a 4-2-2-2 system, the 22-year-old Keita was at the heart of everything good for Leipzig last season, combining a combative and rugged defensive style with attacking skill.
Indeed, he managed an impressive eight goals and seven assists in the Bundesliga last season, despite his deeper role, and thus alerted all of Europe to his potential as one of the potential standout players of the next decade.
As interest intensifies, renowned Leipzig Sporting Director Ralf Rangnick has been adamant that not even a £100m offer would tempt the Red Bull sponsored club to sell one of their star players!
“There are no players in our squad who have an exit clause. I will repeat it one more time, we will not sell any of our key players.
”There are a lot of reports about there being a certain figure where we could be open to a sale, but they are all false.
”We are not selling anyone even if we are talking about a three-figure transfer fee and the players know that. I have already said that before and nothing has changed in that aspect”.
Rangnick and Klopp have long maintained a good relationship, despite finding themselves on opposite sides between Dortmund and Schalke in 2011.
Liverpool have already broken their transfer this record this summer, bringing in Roma winger Mohammed Salah for £37m.
The former Chelsea man joins an exciting attacking unit that already boasted Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana, and the potential addition of Keita would certainly be the icing and cherry on the cake!