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Naby Keita .

RB Leipzig respond to rumours Naby Keita will move to Liverpool in January

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Despite the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, it quickly became clear that January was going to be an extremely testing month for Liverpool.

Right up until December, Jurgen Klopp was adamant that Philippe Coutinho wasn't leaving for Barcelona - £142million later, we all know how that turned out.

With that money, the Reds may well reinvest in a big name such as Monaco's Thomas Lemar, or even, it's been suggested, make a shock move to beat the Manchester clubs to Alexis Sanchez.

Yet, one key area of Klopp's XI has already been strengthened long ago with a deal to sign Naby Keita.

Having spent last summer chasing the RB Leipzig midfielder, a fee in the region of £48m was finally agreed to bring the Guinea international to Anfield at the end of the 2017/18 season.

For all his apparent lack of discipline on the pitch - he'd been sent off three times this term by the end of October - Liverpool are so impressed by the 22-year-old that they even hoped they could bring the agreement forward so he would come to Merseyside this month.

Keita himself fuelled those rumours by declining to celebrate a somewhat fortuitous goal against Schalke; was he subdued because his long-range effort had taken a massive deflection, or because he wants to leave the Bundesliga sooner rather than later?

Leipzig respond 

Regardless of whether he wants to leave, Leipzig have now moved to clarify the situation on their official Twitter account:

"Naby #Keïta will remain an #RBLeipzig player until 30th June 2018. We wish to put the speculation about a January move to @LFC to bed," a statement read.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-LEIPZIG-SCHALKE

Manager Ralf Rangnick added:

"We won't allow @LFC to sign him early, even though they have shown renewed interest to bring him in during this transfer window."

In theory, that should be the end of it.

Liverpool fans will still hold out hope, though, as Leipzig have said no to them in the past and still ended up caving because of the wishes of the player in question.

Even if negotiations about a January switch are now over, it's only a matter of months before we'll finally see Keita tested in the Premier League.

Do Liverpool need Keita to arrive in January? Have your say in the comments. 

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