Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool were dealt a transfer blow today when their £66 million bid for midfielder Naby Keita was rejected by Bundesliga side Red Bull Leipzig.
Keita is Klopp’s prime target, and there is a confidence within the club that the Guinea international will be enticed by the prospect of playing for the five-time European Champions.
However, RB Leipzig do not want to let go of their star player. Keita was pivotal last season in making the club genuine title contenders for much of the season, and the club do not want to let him go.
Liverpool had a previous £57 million bid denied for the 22-year-old central midfielder, before they received the improved offer, which they have also since denied.
Having previously played for Red Bull owned Salzburg, it is very evident that the owners want to hold onto the player who netted eight goals in his debut Bundesliga season.
The co-founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, saying that there was “no way” Leipzig would have taken the money.
“We want to improve and consolidate the club,” he said in an interview with German publication Sport1. “We do not sell any players who are still under contract just to make a lot of money.”
His manager Ralph Hasnhuttl also came out saying that he believed Keita was “feeling great at the club” and “looking forward to the new season”.
With Liverpool looking to shatter their transfer record to bring the player to Anfield, it is clear that they are very interested in acquiring his services, and one can’t help but feel this transfer saga hasn’t come to a close just yet.