Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may have already seen a big money move for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita turned down by the Saxony club, but the German manager isn’t about to consider alternatives to the Guinean midfielder at this point — instead insisting that he knows who he wants and he’d like to have him now.
“They [Leipzig] say ‘Find another car in a different color,’ but you say ‘Thank you, but I want this,’” joked the Liverpool man, talking in his characteristically charismatic, roundabout way. “You see the car you’ve been dreaming of all your life, you say ‘Here’s the money’, but they tell you ‘I do not want to sell the car.’” You say ‘But I have the money!’, But they say ‘I do not want to sell’,” Klopp told KICKER magazine, pushing the envelope a bit further. “I can imagine it’s annoying for the fans, they think, ‘Oh my God, nothing happens here… If I could decide for myself, we would have been complete since last season’s last day, but these are dreams,” conceded the Reds boss. “It is not that we are more stupid than others clubs or smarter than them.”
Leipzig, of course, have maintained from the start that Keita — along with all the other members of their first team squad — are not for sale this summer as they look to consolidate their second place finish in their maiden Bundesliga season and prepare for their first foray in to the Champions League. While there’s been suggestions that the German side could soften their stance and allow the 22-year old to make a move to Merseyside after he rejected a new contract, it would appear that all the members of their board aren’t on the side page…well, at least not publicly.
“You can see that they feel comfortable here and are looking forward to the new season. They know very well what they have here,” said head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl, also speaking to KICKER. “It’s a huge compliment for us that we awoke such desires, but it’s not the general idea of our path to allow players a transfer following the first available offer,” added the German, again dismissing speculation that Keita may be packing his bags. “Our goal is to become a large and well-established club and that is what we have done this summer, a significant step.”