Naby Keïta will “100%” stay at RB Leipzig – at least until next summer – according to Leipzig coach Ralf Hasenhüttl.
Well, I guess that’s that then.
Liverpool target Naby Keïta will “100 percent” stay at RB Leipzig this summer, according to their manager Ralf Hasenhüttl.
The Reds’ courting of the midfielder has evolved from a simple pursuit into one of the most frustrating sagas of the summer with Leipzig turning down two bids believed to be worth £57m and £66m respectively.
Credit where credit’s due to Liverpool and their owners, they were willing to pay whatever it takes to get the player. The German club, however, have remained adamant that they have other ideas.
The Red Bull owned club have maintained from day one that they would not be parting with any of their key assets and have stood firm until now with senior officials at the club such as Ralf Rangnick (Sporting Director) and Oliver Mintzlaff (CEO) being particularly vocal on the matter.
The Reds were reported last night to have ended their interest in the player and Leipzig manager Ralf Hasenhüttl hasn’t hidden the fact he’s evidently relieved that this is the case.
“That is good,” he allegedly responded to a question about Liverpool’s ceased interest.
“The chance (of Keïta leaving) is ‘null’. It’s 100 per cent clear that Naby will play this year in Leipzig. At the beginning of the transfer period that we said we would start with the same team and of the players, we had last year no-one will go.
“That would be our answer now also. For us, everyone can see how important Naby Keïta is for our game. It’s 100% sure that he will be with RB Leipzig in the Champions League. They will finish their transfer activities and that is okay for me.”
Hasenhüttl refused to discuss the Guinean’s release clause – believed to be worth £48m and kick in next summer – but did admit that he doesn’t expect interest in his star asset to disappear anytime soon.
“I don’t tell you about the details of his contract,” he said, deflecting a question about the player’s release clause. “You have to ask other people.”
“Liverpool will not be the only one (to pursue the midfielder next summer) I think. Until next summer we keep the door closed and then we have a look. When you play such a famous season as last year it is normal players get interest, that other clubs are watching us is normal.
“I said for all the players it is very important to stay together as it’s the first time we play Champions League and that is a new situation for every one of us. We are a very young (group of) players and I think for them it is very important to play the first year in the Champions League as a team. He is more focused on us and has more fun now than last year.
“He knows this season it will be fantastic for us. It is the first time Champions League and also for Naby Keïta it is a great thing. I think he is more focused than last year.”
I don’t know about you but the fact that the club seem almost happy to lose him next year for over £25m less than they could’ve made off of Liverpool this summer just seems bizarre to me. Oh well, onto the alternatives please Kloppo.