Liverpool’s hopes of acquiring Naby Keita six months before the subjected transfer date has hit a stumbling block after RB Leipzig released an official statement stating that the midfielder will definitely remain with the Die Bullen for the rest of the season as it was previously planned.
Liverpool reached an agreement over Naby Keita’s transfer to Anfield back in the summer after they decided to trigger his £48m release clause. The deal, however, was for the midfielder to join the Reds in the summer of 2018; July 1.
However, there were claims that the Reds were looking to sign him before the subjected date and German outlet Bild (h/t The Kop Times) even quoted that should an added fee between £13.2m and £17.7m be paid, the 22-year-old would move to England in winter itself.
Liverpool actually were in hurry to get him on board, but Philippe Coutinho’s £142m move to Barcelona reportedly led them to ask for early acquisition. Despite the Leipzig hierarchy earlier dismissing Keita’s early departure, there were sure shot claims that paying an additional fee between £13.2m to £17.7m would make the 22-year-old a Liverpool player in January.
However, Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has dismissed the claims, addressing that the midfielder will be staying with the Bundesliga outfit for the remainder of the season and will only become an official Liverpool player in July 2018. An official statement from the club read,
“To end the speculation of the past few days to Naby Keita, RBL sporting director Ralf Rangnick announced on Sunday that midfield all-rounder Naby Keita will not prematurely in the winter to Liverpool FC, but will play as planned until the end of the season for RB Leipzig. From July 2018, the 22-year-old then plays for the Premiere League club.”
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) January 14, 2018
“We won’t allow Liverpool to sign him early, even though they have shown renewed interest to bring him in during this transfer window,” Rangnick said, per Leipzig’s official website.
“As everyone knows, we are not a selling club, therefore it would only have been possible had we reached a mutual agreement involving an exorbitant additional fee. That is not the case and so we have decided to end this topic. Naby and his advisor also accepted this decision.”
This is a disappointing news for us as Naby would have been a welcome addition for us this month. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt too much to wait for a few more months to get the player on board as we have enough quality to achieve our season targets.