Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 16:00
Despite having agreed to sell Guinea international Naby Keita to Liverpool, RB Liepzig have indicated that they do not have any intention of allowing the midfielder to leave a year early.
The club's sporting director, Ralf Rangnick says they want to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season and they will need Keita's services.
Keita will officially join Liverpool on 1 July 2018 after the Reds struck a deal worth an initial £51m with the German Biundesliga outfit in August.
However, Leipzig were reluctant to sell the Syli Nationale international and only allowed him to leave due to a release clause in his contract effective from next season.
2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: GROUP D PLAYERS TO WATCH
Furthermore, the club's sporting director insists that Keita will remain a Leipzig player until the end of the current campaign as they want to book a spot in the Champions League for the second successive season.
“Even if we should not reach the knockout stages of Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool earlier,” he told Leipziger Volkszeitung.
“We want to qualify for Europe again and we need Naby for that.”
The 22-year-old has found the back of the net on two occasions this term as well as producing one assist, but his disciplinary problems on and off the pitch are a cause for concern.
Keita has been shown marching orders three times, two for Leipzig and one while on international duty with Guinea.
On the other hand, latest reports reveal that he is in trouble with the authorities for allegedly driving without a valid driver's licence.
With all the qualities of a fantastic player, will he follow in the footsteps of ex-Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli who made more headlines off the field than on the park?