Naby Keita has admitted that he is looking forward to playing in the Champions League for RB Leipzig next season which is a blow to Liverpool’s chances of signing the Guinean.
RB Leipzig finished second in the Bundesliga this season, massively exceeding all expectations for the club after being promoted last season. Crucial to the club’s success has been the form of players like Timo Werner and Naby Keita. Both have been linked with moves to Liverpool this summer but the latter is the one that is considered as a genuine target.
Reports at the weekend indicated that Liverpool are engaging in negotiations with Naby Keita’s representatives. According to The Mirror’s Dave Maddock, the Reds are willing to pay the £125,000 that the midfielder is supposedly demanding. On top of that, Liverpool are prepared to break their transfer record to sign Keita.
However, Keita has come out and said that he is looking forward to playing in the Champions League next season with Leipzig, something no Liverpool fan wants to hear.
He told the official Bundesliga website the season had been “like a dream” and added,: “We succeeded brilliantly and, by finishing second, we can, of course, feel more than satisfied.
“But we don’t want to sit back now. We will continue to progress and ride this wave of success for as long as possible.
“We are really keen to discover what the Champions League is all about. Every player dreams of playing in it, and we will do everything in our power to make a difference in the tournament.”
Oliver Mintzlaff, Leipzig’s chief executive insisted last week that the German club holds the bargaining power which could be a blow to any ambitions Liverpool have of signing Keita.
“We have decided that we will not sell any player from our starting line-up,“ he said.
“Ralf Rangnick [sporting director] told this to our team at the end of the season. We will keep our team together and keep on developing.”
RB Leipzig have taken a hardball stance on the future of their key players and with Naby Keita at the top of the pecking order at RBL, there is very little chance that the Guinean will leave this summer.
Or rather, he won’t be leaving cheaply.