Leipzig: Liverpool tried harder to sign Keita

RB Leipzig have explained that Liverpool beat Barcelona to the signing of Naby Keita by offering the player more security and his club a higher transfer fee.

Liverpool have agreed a club-record £48million move for Keita, with the player set to join the Reds at the end of the current season.

Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff explained that Jurgen Klopp's pursuit of the Guinea midfielder proved crucial in sealing the deal.

Mintzlaff told SportBild: "That’s right, even more so because Barcelona were also interested in Naby Keita.

“This was confirmed to us by Barcelona, but obviously they didn’t try as hard as Liverpool."

Mintzlaff added: "He wanted the transfer this summer,” he said. “But (sporting director) Ralf Rangnick told the team that we will not sell any players (at that time).

“This was not lip service – it was set in stone. Had we released Keita, other players might have come up with a similar idea.

“It (the Liverpool move) gave the player more security, but also left us with a significantly higher transfer fee.”