The definition of exorbitant, from dictionary.com, is “exceeding the bounds of custom, propriety, or reason, especially in amount or extent; highly excessive.”
And that makes this RB Leipzig Tweet from sporting director Ralf Rangnick explaining why it will not sell Naby Keita to Liverpool ahead of its scheduled summer agreement truly funny.
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The translation says, “This was only possible, if we would have achieved an amicable solution in the sense of an exorbitant extra transfer payment.”
Keita scored Saturday as RB Leipzig went second in the Bundesliga table.
The club announced in another Tweet that it wanted to put an end to all speculation early in the January window, and that Keita and his representatives had accepted their decision, so those Liverpool fans hoping for a Virgil Van Dijk-level reversal from a selling club should be disappointed.
And, if you missed the news, VVD is hurt.
Bayern Munich’s 3-1 away win Friday gave the Bundesliga leaders a 14-point lead on the table and put the onus on the chasing pack for the rest of the weekend.
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RB Leipzig shaved a point off that advantage with a win on a busy Saturday in Germany.
Hannover 3-2 Mainz
The Bundesliga world belongs to Niclas Fullkrug, and the rest of the league is justing paying his rent.
The visitors went down 2-0 after Mainz got goals from Yoshinori Muto and Alexander Hack, but it’s fortunate for the hosts that German striker Fullkrug carried over his December 2017 form to the new year.
Having scored thrice in the final five matches of the calendar year, Fullkrug netted in the 33rd and 38th minutes Saturday before completing his hat trick with a 75th minute winner.
RB Leipzig 3-1 Schalke
Liverpool may want Naby Keita to arrive before the summer, but he’s still on the pitch and scored a first half goal for his German side.
They might’ve wanted to sell him at half, though, as his needless foul allowed Naldo to score an equalizer in the second frame.
But Timo Werner and Kurt Bruma scored two minutes apart to restore the home hopes, and RBL held on to pull past Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke, and — for now — Borussia Dortmund into second place.
Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg 1-0 Hamburg — Bobby Wood goes 74 mins in loss
Stuttgart 1-0 Hertha Berlin — Own goal the difference
Werder Bremen 1-1 Hoffenheim — USMNT’s Johannsson gets rare time
Koln vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg — Noon ET Sunday
According to a number of reports, despite opposition to the idea earlier in the season, RB Leipzig are now open to selling Naby Keita to Liverpool in the January window for an additional premium.
Back in November, the club publicly expressed its desire to keep the 22-year-old midfielder for the entire season, citing the desire to secure a place in Europe for next year. But now, even despite a clogged and bitter fight for the top spots in the Bundesliga table, reports suggest Liverpool could yet make a January move for Keita.
Liverpool has already agreed to a $75 million transfer for Keita that has been scheduled for this coming summer. However, according to German publication Bild released on Thursday, an additional $12-18 million could be tacked on to bring Keita to Liverpool. That money could come from the massive $192 million that Liverpool banked when sending Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
The report also states that Keita has been “considered isolated” in the squad due to his desire to switch his German language classes to English and with his future already decided, he is considered already a Liverpool player by other RBL players.
Now, there are others that say Keita’s last game with RBL will be Saturday’s road trip to Freiburg, and that he will move to Liverpool after that. According to The Express, Keita has registered his own personal business in England, and other journalists including Raphael Honigstein and Chris Williams have expressed their own reports on social media.
A switch to Anfield would mean the end of Keita’s European campaign, as he is already Cup-tied to RBL after their elimination in the group stages. However, he could fill Coutinho’s role in midfield, and while more of a traditional central midfielder, Keita would still be a big addition to Liverpool’s fight for a Champions League place in the Premier League table. RBL is also fighting for its European survival, in the midst of a massive logjam in the Bundesliga table. Behind leaders Bayern Munich with 44 points and Schalke in second with 30, Leipzig is one of six teams with either 26 or 28 points, with another two sitting back on 24 and another one on 23.
Liverpool needs help in the center of the park, but won’t be getting Naby Keita earlier than the summer.
The Reds agreed a fee for the dynamic RB Leipzig star, but the Bundesliga club says they will not consider any offers from Liverpool to get him in January.
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And that’s true regardless of whether RBL makes it to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, says sporting director Ralf Rangnick.
“Even if we should not reach the knockout stages of the Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool earlier. We want to qualify for Europe again and we need Naby for that.”
RBL is back second in the Bundesliga after a slow start in league play, and the 22-year-old Keita remains one of their top players via the eye test and advanced metrics. Not a real surprise here, but an important note for Reds fans hoping for better at Anfield.
Liverpool has already completed the future purchase of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, but for now, he continues to ply his trade in the Bundesliga, and today he gave his side a road lead they would not relinquish by blazing a howitzer into the back of the net.
With the game scoreless through an hour, and Keita already having completed six successful dribbles, the 22-year-old African latched onto a quick free-kick from Marcel Sabitzer and ripped a heat-seeker on net. The shot swerved away from Hamburg goalkeeper Christian Mathenia, stinging his hands, but ultimately finding its way to its initial target.
Keita finished the match with an 85% pass completion rating, the six completed dribbles, and a very solid WhoScored match rating of 8.84. The goal is Keita’s first of the league season, although he did also score in Leipzig’s 5-0 demolition of 6th tier club Dorfmerkingen in the DFB-Pokal.
The game would eventually feature a second impressive goal less than 10 minutes later as Timo Werner turned on the afterburners to take a Hamburg corner and streak down the other end of the field past two defenders and eventually finishing into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead. That goal is notable as it’s Werner’s third goal of the Bundesliga season in just three matches, also with one in the DFB-Pokal.
Liverpool’s new $83 million man is known for his strength and on-ball technical ability in midfield, but today he showed an added bonus the Reds will receive for the premium price.