Respected German journalist and RB Leipzig correspondent for Kicker Oliver Hartmann has spoken out on the rumours linking Naby Keita to Liverpool, stating that there is ‘no way’ his club will agree to sell him this summer.
Earlier this week it emerged that Keita is keen on a move to Anfield and believes that he can become one of the Premier League’s best midfield players.
Liverpool had aimed to sign Keita for a fee around £45m-£50m but its become clear that it would take a fee around £30m more than that to tempt Leipzig in to a sale.
Interestingly, the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce has confirmed that Keita does have a £48m release clause that comes in to play next summer. This could be a big factor in negotiations and Liverpool must decide whether to press on with a deal now or wait 12 months before trying to secure the midfielder for a much lower fee.
Pearce does outline that the club would much rather sign Keita this summer as the club gear up for their first Champions League campaign under Jürgen Klopp.
However, speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Hartmann says there is no way Leipzig will be willing to sell Keita this summer, and believes the midfielder will stay put for another season at least.
“The major point this summer is that Leipzig don’t need the money because they have Red Bull. But they need Keita and (Emil) Forsberg for success.
I don’t think it would be a gamble if Liverpool were to try and shatter their transfer record for him. For sure he would be well suited to the Premier League. But Leipzig don’t need the money.
Bayern were interested and I think they will try to catch him next year. They know that this summer there is no chance.
Ralf Rangnick (Leipzig’s sporting director) said that he will not sell any major player this summer. And a ‘no’ from Rangnick means ‘no’. Keita can leave next year for approximately 55million Euros. He has a clause in his contract.”