Liverpool have made no secret about their chase of 22-year-old RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita. Leipzig, in return, have made no secret about their unwillingness to part with their best young assets.
Following the ruling by UEFA that Red Bull could field two Champions League teams, Salzburg and Leipzig, the latter appears to be doubling down on that stance. Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff commented on the situation with Keita and Emil Forsberg in an interview with German publication Bild.
“It would be negligent to sell one of our key players now,” Mintzlaff said. “Emil and Naby are extremely talented and developable players, we are glad that we are able to keep up with their development as a club.
“And now we can prove ourselves in the Champions League in the coming season.”
Perhaps more disturbingly, Mintzlaff stated that they have not received any firm offers for Keita.
As with any transfer saga, it’s hard to tell what is real and what is just a distraction. Are they stonewalling or just playing hardball?
Still, this can’t be seen as a good sign in a week where Liverpool would like to build on the momentum provided by the Mo Salah signing.