Although they’ve publicly done everything possible to discourage interest in reported Liverpool target Naby Keita, RB Leipzig are rumoured to have had a chance of heart and would be willing to part ways with the highly rated Guinean if one of his many suitors are willing to stump up a massive £70mil — about £20mil more than the Reds are prepared to pay to secure his services.
Bagging 8-goals and pitching in with 7-assists, the all-action midfielder was a force to be reckoned with during the Saxony clubs maiden season in the German top-flight. If that wasn’t quite convincing enough, the Keita rightfully earned himself a spot in the Bundesliga Team of the Season alongside the likes of Bayern Munich superstar Manuel Neuer and Borussia Dortmund goal-machine Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Having balked at signing a new deal with the Bundesliga runners-up, it’s believed that the 22-year old would be open to moving on should a compromise over his valuation be worked out, but it sounds like that’s going to take some delicate negotiating.
“It would be negligent to give away one of our key players now,” explained Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff. “Emil and Naby are both extremely talented players with a lot of potential,” stressed the German, looking ahead to the upcoming campaign. “We are delighted that we as a club can keep up with their development and that we can prove ourselves in Champions League in the upcoming season.”
Liverpool, for their part, are reportedly willing to part with £50mil for the 22-year old, but just how flexible they’re willing to be when it comes to their own valuation remains to be seen — and, really, that’s absolutely fair. Considering that Keita only has one Bundesliga season behind him and it remains relatively unknown how he might adapt to the rigours of English football, caution should be the watchword when it comes to throwing money at the situation. After wrangling with AS Roma over the price of Mohamed Salah and seeing Southampton bump up the price of top defensive target Virgil van Dijk, the Reds may be watching their pocketbook until they can get a few players of their own out the door and off the wage bill.