Liverpool are going to have to look elsewhere for midfield reinforcement, after RB Leipzig ruled out any possibility of selling Naby Keita this summer.
The Reds had made the Guinea international one of their top targets ahead of the new season, and are thought to have tabled a club record £67million for his signature. This bid was rejected by the German club, who have said all along they have no plans to part with the 22-year-old.
Despite this, it had been suggested that Jurgen Klopp would return with an even bigger offer before the window slams shut next month. But Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has ended their hopes of succeeding by insisting that Keita will ‘100 percent’ remain at the club this term.
“The chance [of Keita leaving] is null,” he said on Saturday. “It’s 100 per cent clear that Naby will play this year in Leipzig. For us, everyone can see how important Naby Keita is for our game. It’s 100 per cent sure that he will be with RB Leipzig in the [UEFA] Champions League.”
It has been widely reported that Keita has a release clause in his contract which takes effect next summer, but by then there are sure to be many more admirers ready to compete with Liverpool for his signature. For the time being, Klopp must look elsewhere for a new midfield player.