RB Leipzig boss '100% clear' Liverpool target Naby Keita will stay

RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl insists it is "100% clear" that sought-after midfielder Naby Keita will remain at the club.

The 22-year-old Guinea international was a shining light in the Leipzig side which stormed to a second-placed finish in the Bundesliga last season.

His performances caught the eye and saw him heavily linked with Liverpool, who had two bids for Keita rejected over the summer.

Reports today suggested the Premier League club have now ended their interest and Hasenhuttl believes the player will now stay put.

"That is good," he said when it was put to him that Liverpool would not be returning with a third offer.

"The chance (of Keita leaving) is 'null'. It's 100% clear that Naby will play this year in Leipzig.

"At the beginning of the transfer period that we said we would start with the same team and of the players we had last year no-one will go.

"That would be our answer now also. For us, everyone can see how important Naby Keita is for our game. It's 100% sure that he will be with RB Leipzig in the Champions League. They will finish their transfer activities and that is okay for me."

Hasenhuttl was talking after Leipzig's 1-0 Emirates Cup defeat to Sevilla, with Keita playing the whole game, and he said the player is more than happy to stay put as the club begin their Champions League adventure.

"When you play such a famous season as last year it is normal players get interest, that other clubs are watching us is normal," he said.

"I said for all the players it is very important to stay together as it's the first time we play Champions League and that is a new situation for everyone of us.

"We are a very young players and I think for them it is very important to play the first year in the Champions League as a team. He is more focused on us and has more fun now than last year.

"He knows this season it will be fantastic for us.

"It is the first time Champions League and also for Naby Keita it is a great thing. I think he is more focused than last year."

There has been speculation that a clause in Keita's contract would allow him to leave for a set fee next summer.

Hasenhuttl refused to confirm if such a term exists but did say he expects plenty of interest in the player in 12 months time.

"I don't tell you about the details of his contract. You have to ask other people," he added.

"Liverpool will not be the only one (to look at Keita next summer) I think. Until next summer we keep the door closed and then we have a look."


 

Most Read in Sport