RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hassenhuttl has stated Liverpool transfer target Naby Keita will not be sold this summer to the Reds. However, the club’s coach did imply that the central midfielder could join Liverpool next summer.
Keita was one of RB Leipzig’s key players a season ago as the newly promoted club qualified for the Champions League. The German team will play their first ever Champions League campaign in 2017-18, and want to keep Keita for the competition.
Just 22, the roving central midfielder arrived from RB Leipzig’s sister-club Red Bull Salzburg a year ago. He cost the club just under £13 million at the time, no small fee for a newly promoted side. However, the club that is fuelled by the Red Bull energy drink is could cash-in big on the player.
RB Leipzig recently lost to Sevilla in the Emirates Cup in London, and following the match, the English press asked Hassenhuttl about Keita’s proposed sale.
“Until next summer, we’ll keep [the door] closed and then we’ll have a look,” the Austrian coach stated.
Hassenhuttl continued to explain just why the club want Keita to stay a second season with the club.
“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 every one of us. We have very young players and I think for them it is very important to play the first year in the Champions League as a team. We will learn this very much again this year.
“Keita is more focused on us and has more fun now than last year. He knows this season will be fantastic for us. To play Champions League for Naby Keita is a great thing.”
Hassenhuttl’s young, exciting team has attracted many admirers and clubs wanting to poach their talent. Back in May, the coach told Bundesliga.com that the club “could win with kids” when everyone else told him they couldn’t. So far, Hassenhuttl has proved other clubs wrong as RB Leipzig secured Champions League football and led the German top-flight for three weeks over Bayern Munich during last season’s Bundesliga.