RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has complained about the influence that people are having on the mindset of midfielder Naby Keita, in the midst of a transfer saga with Liverpool.
The 59-year-old ex-Schalke manager was speaking at a conference in Bochum on Wednesday, and was keen to reassure the audience that neither Keita nor Emil Forsberg would be leaving the German club this summer.
Rangnick was especially candid with his opinions on the people around the two players as he stated: “There should be someone who points them into the right direction.”
“The boys themselves are not the problem here. It is their surroundings. A whole village in Guinea or somebody from their entourage tells the players why they must do something right away. I can’t blame the players."
Keita has been the subject of constant speculation regarding his future, and it has been reported that Liverpool have had two bids rejected for the Guinean midfielder - the latest being worth £66m.
Whilst the player is yet to publicly declare his desire to move on from RB Leipzig club, he caused a stir on Monday when a rash tackle on Diego Demme caused the club's training session to be abandoned.
However, Rangnick was clear to emphasise his confidence that Keita, and Forsberg, would both stay with RB Leipzig: “I expect them to play for us next season. Both are extraordinary players who make the difference for our team.”
The German side will be especially keen to keep hold of their best players as they embark on an inaugural Champions League campaign after a second-placed finish in the Bundesliga last year.