Liverpool have been dealt a decisive blow in their attempts to bring Naby Keita to the club this month, with RB Leipzig adamant an early move to Anfield is not an option.
Jurgen Klopp's side struck a deal with Leipzig to sign Keita during last summer's transfer window for a reported fee of £48m (€54m), with the midfielder remaining at the German club for the duration of the 2017-18 season.
The Guinea international is set to arrive at Anfield on 1 July but, following Philppe Coutinho's move to Barcelona, reports suggested Liverpool would focus their efforts this month on bringing forward their deal for the midfielder.
The Brazil international's move to the Nou Camp has seen Liverpool bank £142m. While reports suggest the club are in no rush to spend the bulk of that, Bild claimed early on Thursday Leizpig would privately consider an offer of £13m to sanction Keita's move to Merseyside before the January transfer window closes.
However, Leipzig insist there is no chance of that deal being done this month.
"There is nothing new about this situation and so that speculation is not true," Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Thursday (11 January), the Daily Telegraph reports. "Nothing has changed and our position hasn't changed from before regarding this transfer."
Hasenhuettl's comments echo those made by Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff earlier this month, who insisted the dates on the contracts drawn up with Liverpool mean there can be no deal this month.
"Neither Naby nor his agent made the request to leave the club in the winter," Mintzlaff told Bild. "There are contracts which say that he will be a Liverpool employee from 1 July onwards.
"Our pros have character and are ambitious. I am not worried. In 2018, I expect everyone to step up with maximum mentality, force and character. That is what makes us strong."