Naby Keita won't be joining Liverpool this month even if Philippe Coutinho leaves for Barcelona


Any hopes Liverpool had of getting their hands on Naby Keita this month have been firmly rebuffed by RB Leipzig.

The Reds agreed a £55million deal to bring the Guinea international to Anfield next summer in August.

But with Philippe Coutinho continuing to be strongly linked with a move to Barcelona before the January window closes there have been growing suggestions that Jurgen Klopp may look to bring forward the 22-year-old’s arrival.

However, any talk of such a move has been shot down by the Bundesliga side.

“Neither Naby nor his agent have made the request to leave the club in the winter,” CEO Oliver Mintzlaff told Bild. “There are contracts, and they say that he will be a Liverpool employee from July 1 onwards.”

Fifth-placed Leipzig remain in the hunt for Champions League football next season and Mintzlaff says Keita is firmly focused on helping them achieve it before he goes.

“It’s not Naby’s disposition (to save himself). Our pros have character and are ambitious,” Mintzlaff added. “I am not worried. In 2018 I expect everyone to step up with maximum mentality, force and character. That’s what makes us strong, and that’s what we need for a successful second half of the season.

“We want to achieve a lot, want to return to Europe and would love to again qualify for Champions League.”

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