Liverpool beat Barcelona to secure midfielder's transfer

Lawrence Kim
November 23, 2017

Liverpool beat off competition from Barcelona to sign RB Leipzig's Naby Keita.

Speculation claiming that move could be brought forward by six months to January has been consistently rebuffed both by Leipzig and Keita himself.

The Guinea global emerged as one of Jurgen Klopp's top transfer targets over the summer after impressing for RB Leipzig.

"Naby was very much enthralled by Liverpool and especially by Jurgen Klopp", he added. Inter Milan were said to be the initial competitors for the player, though Barcelona had been keeping tabs towards the end, after failing to sign the Brazilian global. "But [Leipzig sporting director] Ralf Rangnick told the team that we will not sell any players [at that time]".

"This was not lip service - it was set in stone". We act credibly. Had we released Keita, maybe other players would have come up with a similar idea. Not with us. Liverpool wanted to meet with me countless times. "I had invited the responsible people, but not for negotiations".

"That's right [Jurgen Klopp has his favourite player], even more so because Barcelona were also interested in Naby Keita", he said during an interview with Sport Bild, per ESPN.

And while Liverpool failed to sign Keita for this season, they did strike a deal which will see him join next July.

It is understandable why Liverpool supporters are growing giddy with excitement at the prospect of seeing Keita in a Reds shirt next season.

"It (the Liverpool move) gave the player more security, but also left us with a significantly higher transfer fee".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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