Newsgistblog

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Liverpool willing to improve rejected £66million offer for Naby Keita

Liverpool is ready to roll the dice again with a £70million bid for Naby Keita, writes Darren Lewis in Hong Kong.

Jurgen Klopp’s £66m bid for the midfielder has been rejected by RB Leipzig, and he laughed off the German club's decision to make it public.

Klopp, who turned to cookery during one of his many public appearances while the Reds are on tour here, said: “What do you know? £66million turned down today? Are we in Macau?”

The Liverpool manager, however, has still not given up on the 22-year-old Guinea international - his no.1 target - whose performances last season helped his Bundesliga club into the Champions League.
A decision on the Merseysiders’ next move will be made early next week.

But while Klopp and his squad have been here in Hong Kong, sporting director Michael Edwards has remained in England trying to keep the lines of communications open.

The player has a buyout clause of £50m that will become active next summer and Leipzig owner Dietrich Mateschitz confirmed the Merseysiders’ bid before insisting they are wasting their time trying to sign Keita now.

Mateschitz, an Austrian businessman worth £11.5billion, is the co-founder of the energy drink Red Bull and owns the company’s F1 team.

He said: “We don’t sell any of our players just to get money. Lately, we got a €75m [£66million] offer for Naby Keita. No way! He has a contract and he will accomplish it.

“To sell him would not only be a proof of distrust to our fans but also the wrong sign for our players like Timo Werner, who is in demand too.”

Keita, however, wants to play in the Premier League according to his countryman and former Liverpool striker Titi Camara.

Camara tweeted earlier this month: “From what I’m led to believe Naby has his heart set on LFC move. Leipzig has been informed of his intent and is looking for a replacement.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool, who beat Crystal Palace in a friendly here on Wednesday, has agreed on a £10million deal with Hull for left-back Andy Robertson.

Midfielder Kevin Stewart has left the Reds' Asia ahead of a £8m move to Hull