Jack Hallows believes that despite RB Leipzig’s recent affirmation that Keïta is not for sale, the Reds should not give up on a deal just yet. 

This summer has been a bit of struggle so far to be honest with you.

Liverpool have seemingly already missed the boat on signing first-choice defensive target Virgil van Dijk, with Southampton adamant that they will not under any circumstances sell the Dutchman – especially not to Liverpool.

If the defender hands in a transfer request, the entire situation could very feasibly change but until that becomes the case, van Dijk will most likely remain at the Saints for at least one more season.

Frustratingly for the Reds, the same seems to be happening with first-choice midfield target Naby Keïta of RB Leipzig.

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The Guinean is reported – just like van Dijk – to be itching for a move to the Reds, with Jürgen Klopp said to be playing a huge role in his decision, but his current club still refuse to budge.

Just yesterday, Ralf Rangnick – RB Leipzig’s sporting director – issued the following statement regarding not only Keïta but all of Leipzig’s main players:

Paul Joyce of the Times has since confirmed that Liverpool have “irritated” the Leipzig hierarchy with their pursuit of their star asset and that while Keïta is personally open to the move, the player will not “agitate to such an extent” that Leipzig are forced to change their stance.

Interestingly, despite Joyce’s beliefs and Rangnick’s public comments, Guinean journalists still remain positive that the move will go ahead.

Sega Diallo, who previously tweeted that Keïta wants the move but would not “spit” on his current employers – implying he would not rock the boat in Leipzig’s camp – tweeted the following yesterday after news of Rangnick’s quotes had broken.


“The president of Leipzig will not object to the will of Naby to Liverpool as he said at the first meeting.*”

“Naby has clearly expressed his desire to join Liverpool. He will not stay in Leipzig.*”

Diallo seemingly implies that Keïta’s mind is made up and while it is the belief of most English and German publications that the player will not attempt to force any move to go through, the Guinean journalist’s comments suggest he may not need to.

Diallo’s comments ‘reveal’ that Leipzig’s club president will not oppose the player if he tries to leave contradicts not only news reports but the comments of both Rangnick and Mintzlaff – Leipzig CEO – himself.

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Of course, Rangnick could be 100% serious when he says that like Forsberg and Werner, Keïta is not for sale but it could also just be a move to save face in public.

The Red Bull-backed club are clearly an ambitious outfit and won’t want to be seen pandering to a club like Liverpool in the transfer market.

However, the piece of history that comes with sanctioning the sale of not only the Bundesliga’s most expensive transfer ever but also the most expensive African footballer of all time could be appealing to a club that exists with the primary goal of establishing a legacy.

Just as Paul Joyce affirmed yesterday, no matter the eventual outcome, this looks set to be a long, drawn-out transfer saga that will painfully “rumble on” rather than coming to a head quickly.

All we can do now is respect Klopp’s wishes for patience and hope that the club do all they can.

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