Rb Leipzig manager Oliver Mintzlaff claimed the club would not have sold Naby Keita to Liverpool if they were not forced into doing so because of the £48m release-clause.
As became public at the end of the summer transfer window, Liverpool had agreed to pay the £48m, which only becomes active in 2018, plus a premium fee add-on, in order to confirm the Guinean’s arrival at the end of this season.
It’s a move we’re all very excited about, but for now, have to watch arguably the Bundesliga’s best midfielder from afar.
Mintzlaff says that Rb had no idea when they offered him a contract that Keita’s value would skyrocket so quickly to the point the £48m was actually below less market bargain.
“We would have never given Naby Keita away if it had not been for the release clause,” Mintzlaff told ESPN. “When we agreed on [the clause], we did not presume that only after a few months there’d be a club willing to pay significantly more.”
The 22-year-old is playing a mixed season so far. He’s received two red-cards and was also sent off for his country in what’s been a campaign ravaged by disciplinary problems.
However, when selected, he’s mostly been good – showing the mix of creativity and steel that made Jurgen Klopp so desperate to acquire him in the first place.
We’re hopeful that Liverpool will try and bring Keita in January, although it will obviously require a further premium.