Liverpool have seemingly reached the week in which the managers of their priority transfer targets are going out of their way to repel the Reds from pursuing their players any longer.
Just two days after Southampton manager Claude Puel hinted at Virgil van Dijk staying at St Mary’s next season, RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has suggested Naby Keita will commit to his current employers.
“He feels well, and we love him. We are a super exciting club. Naby sees how much the coach invests to make him better,” Hasenhuttl told Leipziger Volkszeitung, as translated by the Liverpool Echo.
“If I take the celebrations as a benchmark, Naby will stay with us forever. You just don’t just leave a squad like ours.”
Reds would have good reason to worry if Keita hadn’t been celebrating wildly over Leipzig’s emphatic Bundesliga campaign. The club currently sit in second place having only been promoted to Germany’s top flight last summer. His manager’s words aside, though, the rumours linking Keita to a move promise to remain active throughout the entire transfer window.
The Guinean has been one of many standout performers in the Leipzig team but has found himself subject to interest from a number of top European clubs perhaps more than his teammates have. Apparent similarities between himself and Chelsea sensation N’Golo Kante have sparked excitement over what a man of his expertise can bring to the Premier League. An emphasis towards strengthening the spine of Liverpool’s team has drawn Jurgen Klopp to Keita’s notable energy, athleticism and defensive capabilities.
‘Forever’ seems a bold statement at this stage. We suspect this one is by no means over.