Football

Naby Keita.

RB Leipzig CEO has revealed Liverpool beat European giants to Naby Keita signing

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Liverpool could have done with Naby Keita for the 2017/2018 season.

Jurgen Klopp did all he could to secure the services of the Guinean as he lodged multiple bids, with the highest reportedly being in excess of £70 million.

However, Leipzig did not budge, as they wanted to keep him in their squad for at least another year to help them challenge in the Champions League.

But Klopp was eventually rewarded for his persistence, and the two parties eventually agreed on a £48 million deal that would see Keita join Liverpool at the start of next season.

With Liverpool struggling in recent weeks and Jordan Henderson being heckled for a string of poor performances, Liverpool fans are eagerly awaiting Keita's arrival at Anfield.

LIVERPOOL WERE NOT THE ONLY TEAM INTERESTED IN KEITA

And it has been revealed that Keita was also drawing interest from other top clubs, including European giants, Barcelona.

RB Leipzig's CEO, Oliver Mintzlaff, claimed that the Catalan club were interested in Keita, but did not show the same determination to sign him as Liverpool.

Mintzlaff told Sport Bild, as per Sky Sports: "FC Barcelona was interested in Naby Keïta.

"That was confirmed to us also from Barcelona. However, they had apparently not given as much gas as Liverpool."

FBL-GER-CUP-LEIPZIG-BAYERN MUNICH

KEITA WANTED TO JOIN LIVERPOOL IMMEDIATELY

It has also been revelaed that Keita wanted to join Liverpool immediately, but his club prevented him from doing so.

Mintzlaff continued: "Naby was very much enthralled by Liverpool and especially by Jurgen Klopp.

"It is understandable that he thought this through because he can earn many times what he got from us.

"He wanted to change immediately. But Ralf Rangnick told the team that we will not sell a player [at this time].

And Mintzlaff also stated that the club refused to sell Keita straight away, as he feared his departure will make the team's other star players want to leave.

Leipzig's CEO stated "It was not lip service, it was carved in stone. We act credibly. Had we released Keïta, other players might have come up with a similar idea."

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