RB Leipzig dismiss early Keita switch

Riyad Mahrez

And as Liverpool fans know all too well: when one of the big Spanish clubs want your star player, sooner or later, they always seem to get their way. The club gained 160 million euros ($192 million) by selling Coutinho but has lost his long-range goals, technical skills and passing range from central midfield.

The versatile midfielder's exploits were enough to earn him a move to Liverpool, but on the condition that he waited until the end of this season.

"The last impression you leave is the one that stays the longest".

He is coming to Merseyside to play in the Champions League - it would be criminal if he didn't join until the summer, and Liverpool missed out on it.

But Klopp has admitted he will only replace Coutinho if the right player becomes available.

Liverpool have scored 50 goals in the Premier League, second only to Manchester City, and five more than second-placed Manchester United.

Philippe Coutinho
GETTYLiverpool are hunting a replacement for Philippe Coutinho

In the 13 league games since then, Liverpool has won nine and drawn the other four. And they have shored up their suspect defence by paying an eye-watering 75 million ($102 million, 84 million euros) to Southampton for defender Virgil Van Dijk.

Keita was signed from RB Leipzig a year in advance last summer, but the Reds are now reportedly desperate to bring the deal forward, albeit having to pay a premium in the process.

Alberto Moreno wished Coutinho all the best, and posted pictures of the pair together at Liverpool, as did club skipper Jordan Henderson.

Coutinho has previously played in Spain at Espanyol after being sent out on loan from Serie A club Inter Milan, which signed him as a teenager from Brazilian club Vasco da Gama.

RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl ruled out any suggestion they would consider letting Keita depart for Liverpool this month.

The absence of Coutinho this weekend will only help that quest.

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