Naby Keita not joining Liverpool in January - RB Leipzig
Naby Keita will not seal an early move to Liverpool in January, RB Leipzig said in a statement on Sunday.
The Premier League club announced an agreement with Keita last August to move to Anfield this summer, but sources told ESPN FC that Liverpool wanted to explore the possibility of bringing the move forward to January.
But Leipzig said in a statement on Twitter: "Naby Keita will remain an RB Leipzig player until 30th June 2018. We wish to put the speculation about a January move to LFC to bed."
In a second statement, director Ralf Rangnick added: "We won't allow LFC to sign him early, even though they have shown renewed interest to bring him in during this transfer window. A sale [in January] would have only been possible if we had secured an additional, exorbitantly high transfer fee."
The Bundesliga outfit do not want to lose Keita this month as they still remain in a battle to secure Champions League qualification for the next campaign and find themselves in the round-of-32 of this season's Europa League.
Keita scored for Leipzig on Saturday as the home side defeated Schalke 3-1 to move to second in the Bundesliga.
Speaking before the game, Rangnick said there had been no contact from Liverpool about changing the existing agreement, reported to worth some €70 million.
"There are no inquiries or offers for any player who is on the pitch on or the bench for us today from any club," said Rangnick, who added that an increased offer would make no difference.
Keita was booked in the second half, his fifth yellow card of the season, ensuring he'll be suspended for the following game against Freiburg.
He might have got another for a foul on Max Meyer before Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl decided to take him off with just over 20 minutes remaining. Keita has been sent off three times already this season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.