Leipzig rules out early transfer for Naby Keita to Liverpool
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LEIPZIG, Germany — Leipzig ruled out a winter transfer for Naby Keita on Sunday, saying the Guinea midfielder will stay with the side to the end of the season.
The Bundesliga side said in a tweet that Keita will stay a Leipzig player until June 30 and "we wish to put the speculation about a January move to (Liverpool) to bed."
The 22-year-old Keita is due to leave Leipzig for Liverpool for a reported 70 million euros ($85 million) at the end of the season, but media reports suggested the English side was interested in paying more to bring forward the transfer.
"We won't allow Liverpool to sign him early, even though they have shown renewed interest to bring him in during this transfer window," Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick said.
"As everyone knows, we are not a selling club, therefore it would only have been possible had we reached a mutual agreement involving an exorbitant additional fee. That is not the case and with that we decided to end the issue. Naby and his agent have also accepted this decision," Rangnick said.
Keita, who joined Leipzig from sister club RB Salzburg in 2016, scored his third Bundesliga goal of the season in Saturday's 3-1 win at home over Schalke, but he also earned his fifth yellow card, ruling him out of the side's next league game.