EXTRA TIME: Fans criticise Leipzig's Rangnick on labeling Naby Keita's home a village

Comments()
Getty
With Liverpool's hopes of signing Guinea international Naby Keita fading, Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick had to explain his recent comments

Journalists and insiders from Guinea have been feeding the European press and Reds supporters with information about Naby Keita's hopes of joining Liverpool during the summer.

The English Premier League club had two bids turned down by Leipzig, the last at £66 million. Rangnick has been consistent with his statements throughout the transfer window, underlining that Keita's not for sale at any price.

The sporting director's tough stance is key to the relatively new Bundesliga club's hope to establish themselves as a true competitor of Bayern Munich in Germany.

After finishing second in the league, this season they will make their Uefa Champions League debut and will need Keita to bolster their chances of announcing their arrival with a competitive showing in Europe.

Earlier this week Keita's frustration with Rangnick turning down Liverpool, spilled onto the training ground when the Guinea midfielder injured teammate Diego Demme, leading coach Ralph Hassenhuttl to abandon the session immediately and allow tempers to cool. 

Then Rangnick came out and blamed Keita's "village" to be turning his head toward Liverpool. 

“A whole village in Guinea or somebody from their entourage tells the players why they must do something right away. I can’t blame the players,” said Rangnick.

Now the German's come out and explained that comment as follows.

“I know Naby from the very first day when he came to Salzburg,” Rangnick said in The Guardian. “We therefore have a very close relationship, also to his adviser. We are in a trusting exchange. That is exactly what I said in my lecture in Bochum.

“Behind many players with an African background, and I’ve met a lot of them, there is a clan and sometimes a whole village, that lives from the help of one football player. And it’s the case that there are people behind Naby, that demand his transfer,” added the Leipzig director.

This is how Rangnick responded to Tweets from Africa that pointed out how Keita's 'village' is much larger than Leipzig.

“Believe me, my knowledge in geography is good enough, to differentiate between Guinea and Africa.”

According to journalist Dominic King, Liverpool won't make a third bid for Keita and are likely to wait for next year when Leipzig changes their stance due to an expected release clause.

Article continues below

You can read the Twitter storm about Rangnick's comments below:

 

Close