Liverpool Unrelenting in Pursuit of Leipzig Star as Reds Weigh Up Improved £70m Bid
Liverpool are preparing a third offer of £70m to try and land number one transfer target Naby Keita.
The Reds have so far been unsuccessful in persuading RB Leipzig to part with their star midfielder, and the Daily Mirror has claimed that the Premier League club must now decide if they want to chance their hand again.
Keita was installed as manager Jurgen Klopp's primary objective during the close season, but the Anfield-based side have been thwarted in their attempts to convince the Bundesliga outfit to let Keita leave.
Liverpool have seen £60m and £66m offers rejected out of hand by Leipzig, with the club's billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz going public with the latter of those bids after rebuffing it.
He said: “We don’t sell any of our players just to get money. Lately we got a €75m [£66m] 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.”
Exclusive: Naby Keita's agent has arrived in Hong Kong today to meet with with representatives of Liverpool. Negotiations will continue.— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) July 19, 2017
Klopp, however, remained coy over Liverpool's alleged second bid when quizzed about it during a cookery session as part of the club's pre-season tour of Asia.
He quipped: “What do you know? £66m turned down today? Are we in Macau?”
Keita, 22, is believed to have a £50m release clause in his contract with Leipzig, but that written obligation does not come into effect for another 12 months.
As a result, Leipzig are under no pressure to sell the Guinea international this summer, and have consistently stated their intent to retain his services.
Liverpool, though, are not taking 'no' for an answer and remain determined to lure Keita to Merseyside in a bid to bolster their midfield options ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
Keita is rumoured to be keen on a switch to England and may secretly hope that Liverpool keep plugging away at Leipzig to allow him to leave.
Whether the former Salzburg star gets his wish is up for debate, however, and if Liverpool are rebuffed in further advances for him they would likely turn their attentions elsewhere.