Jurgen Klopp has issued a demoralising outlook on Liverpool’s pursuit of Naby Keita with RB Leipzig refusing to budge from their firm stance.
The Reds saw a second bid of £66million rejected on Monday after following up their initial unsuccessful offer of £57million for the Guinean.
Conflicting reports have had fans believe Leipzig are growing increasingly open to letting the midfielder leave while also reiterating an apparent adamance that he is not for sale.
It now remains to be seen whether Liverpool will launch a third bid in excess of the Bundesliga club’s £70million asking price.
Leipzig owner Dietrich Mateschitz has also reaffirmed the club’s position by suggesting Keita will be expected to “accomplish” his current contract.
Speaking in response to such claims, Klopp told the Liverpool Echo: ““Mr Mateschitz? What did he say? Lucky man, huh?”
“They don’t have to sell players. When I was at Dortmund we always had to sell players.”
“Meanwhile, they don’t have to sell players any more so, obviously, I’m always a little bit too late.”
“What can I say? There’s nothing to say about this.”
Liverpool’s proven ability to shatter their transfer record for Keita suggests there is a good chance they will return with one final offer for the 22-year-old.
To come so far and not go all out for their priority target seems pointless, even if their chances of agreeing a deal seem to be fading.
It will be interesting to see how Leipzig would react were Keita himself to further his dream of joining Liverpool by handing in a transfer request.