RB Leipzig have dug their heels in over Liverpool target Naby Keita, rejecting a €75million bid for the midfielder.
The Guinea international was one of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s star players as Leipzig finished second to Bayern Munich in their maiden Bundesliga campaign.
Keita’s all-action style has reportedly caught the attention of Jurgen Klopp, who has added Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke to his squad thus far as the Reds look to build on last season’s fourth-place finish.
Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz confirmed that the Bundesliga new boys, who – like Liverpool – are plotting for the Champions League next term, revealed exactly to what extent Leipzig are prepared to go to in order to keep hold of their star man.
Mateschitz told Sport Bild: “Lately we got a €75m offer for Naby Keita. No way!
“He has a contract and he will accomplish it. To sell him would not only be a proof of distrust to our fans but also the wrong sign for our players like Timo Werner, who is in demand too.”
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) July 18, 2017
Earlier this month, Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick claimed that the club would resist offers breaching €100m for Keita, which could prompt the Reds to focus their attention elsewhere.
Klopp has already begun clearing the decks in midfield, letting Lucas Leiva join Lazio after a decade at Anfield.
The Brazilian struggled to hold down a regular spot under Klopp, and was often deployed in defence, but the German had nothing but praise for the Rome-bound player.
“It goes without saying that all of the lads wish him the very best and from my own point of view I’ve got no doubt that he will be a success in Italy because he is one of the best professionals I have worked with,” Klopp said.
“But even though he’s not going to be at Liverpool anymore he is leaving a legacy behind.
“He set the standards of what it is to be a Liverpool player and by doing that he gave all of us an example to follow and that will continue after he has gone.”
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