Although he has a release clause of £48mil that’s set to become active next summer, RB Leipzig are holding firm over their £70mil valuation of highly coveted Liverpool target Naby Keita with the two sides expected to meet regarding the Reds ongoing interest in bringing the Guinean midfielder to Anfield.
“Would £70million put me off buying Keita? No,” said Liverpool legend Dietmar Hamann, a man who knows a thing or two about the center of the park. “Just getting through the play-off round and into the group stage of the Champions League would pay off a big chunk of that fee. With Keita on board, Liverpool would have an even better chance of getting through,” added the German, speaking with the Liverpool ECHO. “You can question the fees being mentioned for the likes of (Virgil) Van Dijk and Keita, but if you want the top players you have to pay the going rate. It’s no good saying the market value is £30m because you aren’t going to get someone like that for that fee. If Liverpool had to pay £60m or £70m to get Keita it wouldn’t worry me. You are buying a top player for years to come.”
Leipzig, at least publicly, are maintaining that the 22-year old, who was one of the breakout stars of the Saxony clubs first season in the Bundesliga, is not for sale under any circumstances. The latest, of course, is that they’re “bored” of the constant speculation, but that has done nothing to thwart talk of the two sides getting together hash out terms. Compared to their noisy neighbours, Liverpool have been quiet in the transfer market as of yet, but the players they have added will go a long way towards strengthening the team as a whole with Mohamed Salah ready for prime-time and England U-20 World Cup winner Dominic Solanke one for the future.
“The transfer window will be a difficult one, like it always is,” said Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to the club’s official website as the Anfield outfit returned for pre-season training. “Maybe it is getting more difficult, especially in England. We have made a lot of good things so far. Even if you cannot see it, you can imagine we have done a lot behind the scenes,” explained the German manager. “Sometimes you need to be patient and that is what we are at the moment. We have to wait for the right moment and we will see what happens.”