Liverpool have been thwarted in their attempts to expedite Naby Keita’s transfer from RB Leipzig after being told they will have to wait until the end of the season as agreed.
The Reds secured Keita’s services by triggering his £48million buyout clause in August, striking a deal with Leipzig that will see the Guinean midfielder move to Anfield at the conclusion of the 2017/18 campaign.
However, the Premier League side have since attempted to badger their Bundesliga counterparts into letting Keita make the switch in January only to receive short shrift.
Indeed, Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick is steadfastly refusing to budge on the matter, telling the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper:
Even if we should not reach the knockout stages of Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool earlier.
We want to qualify for Europe again, and we need Naby for that.
Patience and equanimity, dear fellows. Patience and equanimity.
Since his deferred transfer to Liverpool was confirmed, Keita has endured something of a ragged three months, picking up three red cards (at club and international level) as well as finding himself at the centre of a police penalty order for twice trying to use a counterfeit Guinean driving license to procure a real German one.