Liverpool will not be completing the £57 million signing of Naby Keita until the summer, RB Leipzig have announced, with a January switch ruled out.
Having spent much of the last transfer window pursuing a deal for the Guinea international, an agreement was eventually reached in August.
The terms of a big-money switch dictated, however, that Keita would remain in Germany until the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Liverpool were happy with that compromise at the time, with the release clause of a highly-rated talent triggered, but the situation has altered somewhat at Anfield since then.
With the Reds having seen Philippe Coutinho leave for Barcelona in a €160m transfer, they are eager to find suitable cover.
It was suggested that Keita’s arrival could be moved forward, with the relevant compensation offered to Leipzig.
That will not be happening, though, with the Bundesliga outfit having moved to bring an end to the rumours.
A statement released by the club read: “Naby Keita will remain an RB Leipzig player until 30th June 2018. We wish to put the speculation about a January move to Liverpool to bed.”
Liverpool, then, will be forced to turn their attention elsewhere if they intend to bolster the ranks during the winter window.
Keita, meanwhile, will see out the campaign in Germany before making a move to Merseyside in July.