- Jurgen Klopp dismisses suggestions Naby Keita will join Liverpool early
- Midfielder will officially sign for the club in July 2018
- Rumours had suggested Guinean would be allowed to join halfway through the season
- SEE MORE: Barcelona launch new Philippe Coutinho plan… involving reduced transfer fee
Rumours of Naby Keita arriving at Liverpool earlier than expected have been quashed by Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds failed to bring the RB Leipzig midfielder to Anfield in the summer, but did manage to agree a deal in principle that will see Keita officially sign in July 2018.
Reports have since hinted at a possible arrangement for the Guinean to arrive earlier than planned, with Leipzig having been eliminated from the Champions League.
Klopp, however, has dismissed the possibility and naturally dodged talk surrounding Keita whilst he remains a Leipzig player.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game against Bournemouth, Klopp told the Liverpool Echo: “No. He is a player of Leipzig. How do we deal with this? I thought we don’t speak about transfers.”
“There is an agreement with the club that he will come in June or July to Liverpool. There is nothing else to say about that. We really don’t think about it because of all the things Leipzig have said.”
“They said they do not have to sell any player. Why should they do something like that (letting him leave in January)? So no, we don’t think about it.”
The news that Keita won’t be landing on Merseyside early makes keeping Philippe Coutinho from the clutches of Barcelona all the more important this January.
Regardless of Liverpool’s league position heading into 2018, it seems likely Klopp will enter the market to bolster his strength in depth and make amends for the club’s failure to adequately strengthen at the same time last year.
Virgil van Dijk appears to still lead the way on the Reds’ wishlist having been blocked from securing a summer move from Southampton.
Another forward could also be targeted, with Daniel Sturridge having been tipped to leave in search of regular first team football ahead of next year’s World Cup finals.