RB Leipzig have reportedly made contact with Liverpool to inform their stance over Naby Keita remains the same.
The Telegraph report that the Bundesliga club contacted Liverpool on Wednesday “to reiterate they will not be moved from their position”.
Leipzig are insistent that they will not sell the 22-year-old midfielder this summer, despite Jurgen Klopp’s intention to smash the club’s transfer record again to recruit the Guinea international.
Leipzig’s sporting director Ralf Rangnick insisted last week that none of their key players would be leaving the Red Bull Arena and that Keita does not have an exit clause in his contract.
However, Italian super agent Giovanni Branchini gave hope to the Reds by claiming that Keita would still favour a move to Liverpool next summer and he has a buyout clause in his deal, but it will only be activated next summer.
“I really like him [Keita] he’s similar to [N’Golo] Kante but has better technical skills,” Branchini told Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He has a release clause that can be activated from next summer.
“RB Leipzig don’t want to sell him now but if he leaves he will be joining Liverpool.”
Keita is due back in pre-season training with the German club today and it seems only he will be able to make a transfer to Liverpool happen. It remains to be seen what stance Leipzig will take if Keita ups the ante and makes it clear he would like to move to Anfield.
He is understood not to have been keen to push for a deal earlier in the summer, but Liverpool’s continued pursuit may well have changed the player’s outlook and he may well decide to make a formal transfer request.
The report claims Klopp does not have an alternative midfield target “because he too is steadfast in his belief Liverpool must only buy those who will enhance his side” and so it may well Keita or nobody for the German.
Klopp has only added Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke to his ranks so far, but he remains calm about the club’s summer business.
“If any fans think, ‘What are the other teams doing and why are we not doing anything’, I can’t help. Sorry,” Klopp said after a 4-0 victory over Tranmere in their first pre-season friendly.
“We cannot buy players because other teams buy players. We do our business as good as we can do it and we are convinced about the way we are going.
“Nervous fans? Sorry, I don’t have to write a message for this. I am not nervous – maybe that is the message.”