RB Leipzig have rejected a second bid worth £66m ($85m) for midfielder Naby Keita from Liverpool with the German club insisting that the player is not for sale amid repeated bids by the Merseyside outfit. It is a club-record offer by Liverpool and would be more than five times the amount that Leipzig paid to sign the player.
The Bundesliga club have already rejected a £57m ($71m) bid for the Guinea international earlier this summer with the club adamant that the midfielder is not for sale at any price, despite Jurgen Klopp's keenness in securing his services. The player is also reportedly eager to join up with Klopp but Leipzig are bent on thwarting any advances as they are set for their maiden foray into the Champions League.
"We don't sell any of our players just to get money," RB Leipzig owner Dietrich Mateschitz told German magazine Sportbild, as quoted by the Times. "Lately we got a €75m offer for Naby Keïta. 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."
The Guinea international has made 31 appearances in the league for the Bundesliga club, scoring eight goals and assisting seven and is generally used as a box-to-box midfielder. He played an integral part as Leipzig finished second in the league last season, albeit 15 points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
Liverpool have broken their transfer record once already this summer with the £36.9m ($47m) addition of former Chelsea winger Salah from AS Roma. England Under-20 World Cup star Dominic Solanke is their only other addition so far this window, with Klopp counselling the need for patience as they attempt to further strengthen their squad ahead of a return to Europe's elite club competition.
"We pretty much have all what you need," Klopp said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "But at the end it is still business, whether you have the money. You go out and see the car that you have been dreaming about your whole life. You say "here is the money" but they say to you "I don't want to sell the car". You say "but I have got the money!" but they say "I don't want to sell."
"Things like this happen in life, not only football. It is not about this. They say "go for another car in another colour" but you say "that's ok but I want this". It is pretty simple. You can imagine how it works. It is not that we are doing something that other clubs aren't doing. Or we are more silly or they are more smart.