Liverpool’s Naby Keïta deal “progressing positively”

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Naby Keita in action for RB Leipzig against Hamburg in the Bundesliga.
All rights reserved by Maja Hitij/Bongarts

Liverpool’s Naby Keïta deal is progressing positively according to Bundesliga expert Chris Williams as Leipzig’s resolve begins to crumble. 

For nine long weeks, RB Leipzig have publicly maintained that none of their first-team stars are for sale. It’s not just been Naby Keïta either, with the likes of Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner being put on the ‘hands-off’ perch.

Today’s reports, however, seem to suggest the Reds have begun seriously testing the German club’s resolve and a deal could soon be finalised officially.

It seems as if while the public stance has continued to be a hard, certain ‘no’ when asked if Keïta will be sold, Leipzig’s boardroom are considering things very differently behind closed doors.

We’ve heard from Fussballstadt, Goal.com and the Liverpool ECHO already, telling us that the Reds original offer of £57m was rejected and the club plan to return with another improved bid early in the coming week.

Now, however, Chris Williams has joined the conversation and has seemingly confirmed that the Lepizig board are entirely split on the matter.

Reporting for This Is Anfield, Williams confirms that while Ralf Rangnick is still desperate for the club to hold onto the player, the thought of turning down a Bundesliga record fee of €75m (£65.7m) is seen as “ridiculous” by the business-minds with power at the club.

While Leipzig do not necessarily need the money, Williams believes there is a growing feeling that the Reds’ projected next offer could be enough to see a deal agreed and wrapped up.

The Guinean arrived from sister club RB Salzburg just 12 months ago for €15m and the thought of selling the player for a fee five times that sum is seen as a highly appealing decision by the businessmen within the club.

This is likely further influenced by the fact Keïta has only proven himself at the highest level over one season and that the player has refused a new deal, meaning he will be attainable for a fraction of the price next summer when his £48m release clause activates.

Guinean journalist Amadou Makaji – who has been a highly vocal presence and a constant source of information during Liverpool’s courting of the player – has also echoed the sentiment that Leipzig’s stance has softened on his Twitter account. Makadji tweeted the following*:

“The German club’s management is divided on the issue. At the same time, the player’s entourage is thinking about a clash to force his departure.”

“Naby hopes (it) doesn’t come to the clash and wants to see the position of Leipzig evolve in the next few days but it’s still one possibility.”

“After the rejection of the first offer from Liverpool, the English club will return a new deal between Monday and Tuesday.”

Makadji also claimed that Manchester City have tried to enter the race for the midfielder by contacting his agent not once but twice, only to be met with a firm response that the player has his heart set on Liverpool.

According to “sources within the club” the Reds have already enquired about payment structures in the likelihood that a deal is agreed and that finalising this could require lengthy discussions.

Leipzig would reportedly be keen on the payment being received in two instalments rather than being drawn out through add-ons and multi-payments.

*Translated using Google Translate. Translation may not be 100% accurate. 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Ralf Rangnick should put his money where his mouth is. By keeping Keita for this year, the club will loose 10.7 Million Sterling, when next year Keita can be bought for 55 Mill. Ralf does not have any business sense does he, no wonder the board room unrest?

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