RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has dropped the latest hint to suggest Liverpool will have a good chance of signing Naby Keita next summer.
The Reds recently saw two bids of £57m and £66m for the midfielder rejected by the Bundesliga club and have since decided to shelve their interest until next summer, when the Guinean’s £48m release clause can finally be activated.
Though a deal has been completely ruled out for now, Rangnick isn’t confident that Keita will sign a contract extension with the German side.
“I am not currently assuming that we will be able to extend his contract prematurely,” Rangnick told Sport Bild, per the Liverpool Echo.
“I can assure you that Naby is playing with us this season. All other scenarios also depend on how we do this season, how Naby plays himself and so on.”
Keita’s current deal runs until 2020, although Leipzig are keen to see him sign an extension in order to dismiss his buyout clause.
The 22-year-old is unlikely to put pen to paper, though, as he looks to secure his dream move to Anfield, having failed to do so this summer.
One factor Klopp will undoubtedly be fearful of is the prospect of new clubs joining the race for the highly-rated midfielder’s signature, especially if he builds on his standout 2016/2017 campaign.
The immediate focus will now be on Virgil van Dijk, with the club ready to pounce if given reason to believe Southampton will be open to offers for the Dutchman.