RB Leipzig’s sporting director Ralf Rangnick has explained their reasons for snubbing two bids from Liverpool for Naby Keita.
Liverpool had two bids rejected from the Bundesliga side for the midfielder, with offers of £58million and £66million turned away.
And explaining their decision to snub the bids, Rangnick said: “There were two offers from Liverpool and in between times also a telephone call between the clubs. But not between me and Jurgen Klopp.
“For us, it was always clear that we would not give Naby Keita. That is why there was no direct contact.
“Every club that has sporting ambitious would have done the same as we did.
“But we must weigh it up. If we let Keita go for €70-80m this year, what more would that bring us compared to the sum we would get next year?”
The sum Ragnick is referring to next year relates to a clause in Keita’s contract that will allow him to leave the Bundesliga club for £47million next summer.
Liverpool are expected to come back in for the player then and, speaking earlier this month, Ragnick admits Leipzig have little belief they’ll be able to tie the midfielder down to a new deal.
“I am not currently assuming that we will be able to extend his contract prematurely,” Rangnick told Sport Bild.
“I can assure you that Naby is playing with us this season. All other scenarios also depend on how we do this season, how Naby plays himself and so on.”