Liverpool’s target Naby Keita will have to force a move to Merseyside after RB Leipzig informed the Anfield club that their coveted midfielder will not be sold this summer.

The 22-year-old is Jurgen Klopp’s prime midfield target and Liverpool are willing to shatter their transfer record to bring him to Merseyside. Leipzig, however, have refused to consider selling a player who was instrumental in their second-place finish in the Bundesliga last season and given Liverpool no encouragement regarding a transfer fee.

Ralf Rangnick, the club’s sporting director, has repeatedly stated that Keita is not for sale this summer with Leipzig having qualified for the Champions League. Liverpool were on Wednesday contacted by the German club and informed the Guinea international is not available for transfer.

Leipzig’s stance leaves Keïta with limited options if he is to secure his wish of a move to Liverpool.

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Despite Leipzig’s consistent stance Liverpool have not explored alternatives to Keita so far and hope the player’s determination to join Klopp’s team, plus their willingness to pay a significant transfer fee, will ultimately lead to a breakthrough.

Klopp was asked following Liverpool’s 4-0 friendly win at Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday whether he accepted the pursuit of Van Dijk was over. He replied: “Am I allowed to talk about this? I am not. Pretty much everything I could say would be a mistake. You or your colleagues wrote everything about this a few weeks ago. Nothing happened since then. All good so far, so I can’t say anything about this.”