How Liverpool saw off Barcelona to sign Naby Keita - RB Leipzig chief

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The CEO of RB Leipzig has revealed how Liverpool managed to beat Barcelona to the signing of Naby Keita.

Guinea worldwide Keita, 22, will join Liverpool at the end of this season, with Leipzig having blocked an immediate move as they prepared for their first Champions League season.

And Oliver Mintzlaff revealed Barcelona were also interested in signing the Guinea global - but showed less determination than Liverpool.

Klopp's interest in Keita was clearly key, with Mintzlaff hammering this home by agreeing: "Yes, especially since Barcelona was interested in Naby Keita".

Keita was eager to complete the move this summer, but Mintzlaff has explained why Leipzig sought to hold on to him for 12 more months.

After Keita's move to Anfield fell through, his form for RB Leipzig dipped dramatically.

"FC Barcelona was interested in Naby Keïta", Mintzlaff told Sport Bild.

The Guinea worldwide was a top transfer target for clubs all across Europe this summer, but it was Liverpool who won the race for his signature. But Ralf Rangnick told the team that we'll not sell a player.

"This was not lip service - it was set in stone. We act credibly. Had we released Keïta, other players might have come up with a similar idea".

There were further speculations that the move could have been preponed to the January transfer window, though both the Bundesliga outfit and the Guinea worldwide are trying to avoid that.

In their last group match against Besiktas, they must better Porto's result against Monaco because the Portuguese side have won the head-to-head. "We've achieved that now".

This is Keita's first goal in the Champions League.

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