RB Leipzig have dealt Liverpool a blow, with the co-founder of Red Bull revealing that the Bundelsiga side have rejected an offer of £66m for their midfielder Naby Keita.
The Guinea international is Jurgen Klopp's top target and there is confidence at Anfield that he is enchanted by the prospect of a move to the five-time European Cup winners.
RB Leipzig have however repeatedly insisted that they do not want to sell their star player. Last week, Liverpool had a £57.3m bid rejected for Keita, before Leipzig received an improved offer of £66m.
But that offer was also rejected by the Bundesliga club, with the co-founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, saying that there was “no way” Leipzig would have taken the money.
“We want to improve and consolidate the club,” he said in an interview with German publication Sport1. “We do not sell any players who are still under contract just to make a lot of money.”
This is far from Leipzig’s first attempt to ward off Liverpool’s interest in the 22-year-old midfielder.
Only last week, RB Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasnhuttl insisted that both Keita and Arsenal target Emil Forsberg ‘feel great’ at the club and are “looking forward to the new season” in Germany.
“You can see that they feel great here and are looking forward to the new season,” Hasenhuttl told German magazine Kicker. “They know very well what they have here.
“It's a huge compliment for us that we awoke such desires, but it's not the general idea of our path to allow players a transfer following the first available offer.
“Our goal is to become a big and established club, and what we did this summer is a substantial step towards it.”
While Liverpool are ready to break their transfer record for the player, Leipzig are desperate to see the player renew his contract in the autumn.
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