RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has poured cold water over the suggestion that star man Naby Keita could leave the club for Liverpool in January.
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The 22-year-old central midfielder has an agreement to join the Anfield club next summer, but with the Bundesliga side struggling to qualify in the Champions League there had been a suggestion that he could depart sooner.
Rangnick, however, says that completing the €70 million move prematurely is simply not in his side’s interest.
“Even if we don’t progress in the Champions League, it would make no sense to let Naby go to Liverpool earlier,” he told Sport Buzzer.
“We want to try and qualify for Europe again next season through the Bundesliga, of course. And we need Naby for that.”
Keita has been embroiled in a legal controversy in Germany, where he stands accused of having forged a driving licence.
“We will, of course, stand by Naby,” Rangnick confirmed.
The Guinea international has not enjoyed the impact this season that he did last term. Indeed, he has scored only one goal and has chalked up one assist for Leipzig in the Bundesliga, and he was even left on the bench for their recent 2-1 victory over Hannover, though he did impress after coming on.