Liverpool target Naby Keita was taken to hospital at the weekend after suffering ‘an acute stress reaction’, but is recovering well and should be back in action before the end of the season.
The Red Bull Leipzig midfielder is a target for Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Arsenal among others, but according to his sporting director Ralf Rangnick, the Guinean is not for sale – especially if his team qualifies for the Champions League.
Rangnick told Sport1 Doppelpass, cited in the Echo: “I don’t know anything about Bayern interest. Naby’s an extraordinary player who could play in any European top team.
“He’s still under contract for a long time yet. If we qualify for Europe there’s also no reason why Nabi shouldn’t play for us next season.
“I don’t know if he’ll play for us for three or four more years. No-one knows, we can’t all look into a crystal ball. But I think it’s very likely he’ll play for us next season.
“I wouldn’t swap Keita with (Manchester United midfielder Paul) Pogba for our style of play.”
The quotes go some way in explaining just how highly Keita is rated following his wonderful debut campaign in the Bundesliga.
He was tearing up trees for Red Bull Salzburg last season, a club in Austria whom he scored 17 goals in two seasons for. Keita shares the same agent as Sadio Mane, which has given Liverpool fans some hope in our pursuit of him.
RB Leipzig are financially well-backed though and wouldn’t be able to be easily pressured into a deal.
Our only chance of acquiring him would be qualifying for the Champions League and trying to get a deal done early before Europe’s biggest clubs swoop.