Liverpool will take a step back and consider their options before potentially making a final bid of at least £70M for RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keïta according to reports today in The Liverpool Echo. If they do decide to make such a hefty bid it would be their final offer before moving on to alternate targets.
It could also be, depending on what they hear behind the scenes from Leipzig and Keïta’s representatives in the next few days, that the club will forgo a final bid and move on, as the club had believed their £66M offer would be enough to secure Keïta’s services and were left confused when it was rejected by the German club.
The question now is whether the former apparent split at Leipzig between the sporting director who didn’t want to sell at any price and the manager and owner who were willing to—and with Liverpool having been led to believe their last offer would be accepted—has been resolved with sporting director Ralf Ragnick winning out.
It’s worth considering, though, that given current exchange rates, Liverpool’s last bid would have fallen just shy of setting the Bundesliga record for a player transfer, and there has for some time been a suggestion that Leipzig considered it important to only sell Keïta if it meant they would then own the record.
It might seem odd for those viewing a potential transfer from a purely footballing perspective, but Leipzig’s primary purpose in the game is to serve as a billboard for the energy drink company that owns them, and claiming the record sale would potentially be worth a great deal to them as an advertising tool.
Getting that record would mean more press coverage in Germany and England, and it would mean that every time Liverpool played this year—every time Keïta played—the fact that he arrived at the club as the record Bundesliga sale from RB Leipzig would be talked about, would be put out to a global audience.
For Leipzig, that could be worth an awful lot. For Leipzig, it could make a £70M bid just what they were waiting for and impossible to turn down. Now Liverpool have to decide if that’s the truly case, if it’s worth bidding again it it is, or if it’s already well past time to move on to Plan B.