RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has effectively shut down any hopes Liverpool may have in signing the German club’s wonderkid playmaker Naby Keita, insisting there is no chance the player will be sold this summer.
The 22-year-old Keita has been in blistering form for Leipzig ever since he arrived to Germany from sister club RB Salzburg in Austria. True enough, despite his age, the young gun has already scored eight goals and eight assists in 31 appearances in the Bundesliga, helping the German Red Bulls to a second-place finish after winning promotion from the second-tier just a season before.
Such stellar performances and ability to make an impact has certainly made a mark on Liverpool’s charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp, with the German tactician eager to bring such potential to Anfield.
According to inside sources, Klopp has been extensively using his network in Germany in order to convince Leipzig to sell the Guinea international. It is mooted that Liverpool may have been the club who tabled a massive £67-million bid for the player last week, as reported by Sky Sports, although the actual identity of the bidder is still far from certain.
Now, it appears Leipzig have publicly turned down that offer, or any other offers coming in this summer for that matter, with manager Hasenhuttl clear in his choice of words.
“What are the chances of Keita leaving? None,” Hasenhuttl said in a press conference.
“It’s 100 per cent clear that Naby will play this year in Leipzig. At the beginning of the transfer period we said we would start with the same team with all the main players we had left last year, that no one will go.
“That would be our answer now, also because for us, we conceded how important Naby Keita is for our game,” Hasenhuttl further explained.
While Naby Keita is understood to have a £48-million release clause in his contract, that clause won’t become active until next year’s summer. So for Liverpool, it appears the wait will continue if they really want to sign Keita.