RB Leipzig's Director of Sport insists the club has no plans to sell Naby Keita this year, but admits it will be hard to hang on to him.
RB Leipzig's Director of Sport, Ralf Rangnick, has publicly admitted that he believes his club are unlikely to be able to hold onto their star midfielder Naby Keïta on a long-term basis.
The 22-year-old is well-known to be coveted by Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp keen to add the Guinean prodigy to his squad in the summer transfer window.
In an interview with German news website Bild, via the Daily Mail, the Leipzig chief was grilled on the much speculated future of the talented midfielder, admitting that keeping the player at the club on a long-term basis would be difficult - as the Bundesliga star will see a £47m release clause automatically bolted on to his contract in a year's time.
"I am not currently assuming that we will be able to extend his contract prematurely," Rangnick said.
"I can assure you that Naby will be playing with us this season. All other scenarios also depend on how we do this season, how Naby plays himself and so on. It does not matter at all whether it's £67m or £90m. We have not developed for five years so that we can lose one of our best players in the first Champions League season."
It appears that Liverpool may have to wait until next season to try to sign the highly-rated youngster.
The Reds have approached the summer transfer market slightly more cautiously than some of their league rivals, bringing in just three players so far.
Mohamed Salah became the club's record signing in a deal that could rise to close to £40m, while 19-year-old prodigy Dominic Solanke from Chelsea and left-back Andrew Robertson has made the switch from relegated Hull.