Liverpool are set to launch a third mega bid to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig according to the Mirror. The 22-year-old Guinean has become our priority signing for the summer, along with Virgil van Dijk and we have already seen a bid of £66million being turned down by the Bundesliga club.
The report claims that we are going to bid £70million for the midfielder and when Jurgen Klopp was questioned about the decision from the Bundesliga club to make our bid public, the German laughed it all off.
“What do you know? £66million turned down today? Are we in Macau?”
The report also suggests that while our team is in Hong Kong taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy, Michael Edwards has remained in Liverpool as we look to complete a deal for the 22-year-old.
Things do seem to be going a little back and forth regarding the transfer as Leipzig owner Dietrich Mateschitz recently stated that he doesn’t want to sell Keita and wants him to honour his contract at the club. He said to Bild (via Telegraph):
“We don’t sell any of our players just to get money. Lately we got a €75m [£66million] 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.”
What we need to remember is that Leipzig don’t have to sell their players for financial reasons as they are backed by Austrian billionaire Mateschitz, who is the co-founder of the Red Bull energy drink and also owns the Red Bull F1 race team.
Keita does have a buyout clause which is rumoured to be around the £48million mark but that would only come into effect next season. Should we want to buy Keita then, we should be able to snap him up for a cheaper amount but there is a fear that other clubs would also try to move for the 22-year-old.
The stance taken by Leipzig does seem to be a sturdy one but we have seen similar instances before. Southampton took a similar stance when we tried to sign Lallana and in all probability, Leipzig want us to go as high as we can before letting Keita join us.
This entire saga is now getting out of hand and hopefully a quick decision can be taken as wasting time on a player that will not be allowed to move, is criminal. We need to strengthen the squad with the right players but we cannot be stuck up on one transfer and waste the entire window in trying to bring in Keita.