Willi Orban understands Liverpool’s interest in Naby Keita but the RB Leipzig defender expects another stellar season from his in-demand team-mate.
Keita has seemingly emerged as Liverpool’s primary transfer target after helping Leipzig to a stunning runner-up finish in the Bundesliga and Champions League qualification last season, with the Premier League side reportedly having a €75million bid for the 22-year-old Guinea international turned down in July.
There is talk of a €50m release clause in Keita’s existing deal – running until 2020 – that would become active at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
In the meantime, Orban is looking forward to another season alongside the midfielder at Red Bull Arena.
Speaking exclusively to Omnisport, Orban – who wore the captain’s armband more often than not last term – said: “Naby is one of our key players. He developed tremendously last season. So it is normal that other clubs might be interested in him.
“But we could only be so successful because we were a group of friends that fought for each other in every game. And Naby is a vital part of that group.
“He brings qualities to the game that not many players have. Every team would benefit from him, that’s why we are very happy that he is with us.
“I am certain that he will play another great season for RB Leipzig.”
Following his arrival from sister club Salzburg in 2016-17, Keita scored eight goals and registered seven assists in the league as Leipzig finished second to Bayern Munich in their first Bundesliga campaign.