Liverpool have taken yet another hit in their pursuit of Guinean midfielder Naby Keïta as they saw their second offer rejected by RB Leipzig.
Liverpool have had a second bid of £66m rejected by RB Leipzig for Guinean star Naby Keïta after the midfielder’s club continued to reiterate that the player is not for sale.
Paul Joyce of the Times reports that the Reds’ offer would’ve been a club record fee that equates to a whopping €75m, five times the price paid by Leipzig when they signed the midfielder last summer and eclipsing the current record Bundesliga transfer fee.
Since Sporting Director Ralf Rangnick’s most recent affirmation that the player is not for sale, Leipzig co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz has since come out in support of the club’s previous public stance that the player will not leave Leipzig this summer.
“We don’t sell any of our players just to get money,” Mateschitz allegedly told Sport1. “Lately we received a €75 million offer for Naby Keïta in house. No way! He has a contract and he will complete it.
“To sell him would not only be a proof of distrust to our fans but also the wrong sign for our players like Timo Werner, who is in demand too.”
Joyce reports that while the pursuit is frustrating, Klopp will only abandon his efforts “reluctantly” and is willing to play the waiting game for as long as it takes to prise the midfielder from the club.
Unfortunately, Chris Bascombe has also echoed this statement for Telegraph Sport this morning, claiming that Leipzig remain adamant that they will not do business with the Reds and will not accept any amount of money for their players.
Bascombe believes Klopp now has a huge decision to make over whether he continues to try and prise the player from his current club, or moves on to new targets.
Unverified reports in recent days had offered some encouragement, claiming that there is a split in Leipzig’s boardroom behind closed doors but for now, the public stance remains very much that the player will be staying for as long as Leipzig can keep him.
Keïta was pictured signing autographs for fans at an open training session yesterday morning, before starting Leipzig’s pre-season fixture against ZFC Meuselwitz in the evening.
Bizarrely, he is claimed to have left the field after 40 minutes without being substituted.
Could there be another twist in this tale yet?