Liverpool’s pursuit of top midfielder target Naby Keita has been a bit like a see-saw — one day RB Leipzig look resigned to parting ways with the talented Guinean and the very next they’re doubling down on their stance that he’s not being sold to anyone for any price.
“We won’t sell players who are still under contract just to earn a lot of money,” said Dietrich Mateschitz, co-owner of Red Bull. “Let me give you an example: Only recently, we received a €75 million bid for Naby Keita. No way!” added the Leipzig man. “He is still under contract and he will fulfil it. Like I said: To sell him would not only be evidence that we don’t have belief to our fans but also send the wrong signal for our other players, like Timo Werner for instance. He’s also sought-after.”
For all the hubbub around Keita’s proposed move to Anfield, the 23-year old doesn’t seem to be letting all the speculation get to him. Taking part in a pre-season friendly against Meuselwitz on Tuesday, the Guinean isn’t publicly pushing for a deal to get done quite yet, but that could very well change in the weeks to come. The Reds, for their part, would love to get their transfer dealings done sooner rather than later and although they’re prepared to play the waiting game for Southampton captain Virgil van Dijk, the situation with Keita is a different story.
“What do you know? £66million turned down today,” said a clearly salty Jurgen Klopp when asked about the club’s pursuit of the Guinean midfielder. “Oh my God! Which newspaper? Are we in Vegas? I told you I don’t speak about this,” stressed the Reds boss, refusing to provide any specifics of their negotiation with Leipzig. “Not Vegas, what is it on the other side of the island in Asia? Yes, Macau. Are we in Macau? No.”