Naby Keita was one of the most sought-after players in the previous transfer window and even though the Guinea midfielder did not join us in the summer, he would be a Red come the start of next campaign.
Liverpool fought hard to sign the player for a premium amount of £48million. The 22-year-old was one of the best players for last season’s Bundesliga runners-up, RB Leipzig and also scored his first ever Champions League goal in their previous game.
The win over Monaco kept Leipzig’s hopes alive of making it to the next round and the club’s CEO, Oliver Mintzlaff recently stated that the midfielder was also wanted by La Liga giants Barcelona. Mintzlaff also added that it was Jurgen Klopp’s determination that ensured we got our man and not have another story of missing out on a target to see him move to another club.
Speaking to Sport Bild (h/t Liverpool Echo) RB Leipzig CEO said,
“That’s right, even more so because Barcelona were also interested in Naby Keita.
“This was confirmed to us by Barcelona, but obviously they didn’t try as hard as Liverpool.”
Mintzlaff also made it a point that the club did not want to lose any players in the summer. However, he was quick to add that the move was a win-win situation for the player and club as they received a higher value for the 22-year-old.
“He wanted the transfer this summer. But (sporting director) Ralf Rangnick told the team that we will not sell any players (at that time).
“This was not lip service – it was set in stone. Had we released Keita, other players might have come up with a similar idea.
“It (the Liverpool move) gave the player more security, but also left us with a significantly higher transfer fee.”
This just proves that we still are a club that can attract players and this deal possibly was only done because of Klopp and his team. We have often been on the losing end of high-profile players joining other clubs but this has not been the case with Keita.
The 22-year-old is one of the best players in the Bundesliga and is a rising star. There are many that believe he will go on to achieve great things and the player is actually a perfect fit for our playing style. Hopefully, we will get the best out of him next season.