Liverpool FC have suffered a hammer blow to their hopes of signing in demand RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita this summer.
It looks as if Jürgen Klopp will have to rethink his plan of action when it comes to strengthening his midfield this summer after RB Leipzig confirmed their involvement in the 2017/18 instalment of the UEFA Champions League.
Despite finishing second in last season’s Bundesliga, This Is Anfield reports that there remained an uncertainty over whether Leipzig would be allowed to compete due to their ties with Red Bull.
UEFA law typically states that only one club owned by the energy drink company may compete in the Champions League at any one given time but on Tuesday both Leipzig and Salzburg were given permission to feature.
Frustratingly for Liverpool, this has seen CEO Oliver Mintzlaff effectively rule out any chance of a summer exit for one of his prized assets.
“It would be negligent to sell one of our key players now,” he told BILD. “Emil (Forsberg) and Naby are extremely talented and developable players, we are glad that we are able to keep up with their development as a club. Now we can prove ourselves in the Champions League in the coming season.”
This Is Anfield claim – among others – that the Reds would be willing to obliterate their previous transfer record in order to sign the Guinean international, with a £50m bid said to have been prepared.
However, given Leipzig’s superb financial situation and impressive rise to prominence last season, they are under no obligation to part with one of their key men.
Of course, the Reds can hope that the prospect of playing for a manager like Klopp, at a ground like Anfield might be enough to sway the player but Leipzig is certainly just as attractive a project at this current moment in time.
The Guinean has three years left on his current deal but is currently engaged in negotiations over an improved – and extended – contract to tie him down for the long term.