Letting Keita join Liverpool early would make no sense - Rangnick

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RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangick has dismissed reports that Liverpool-bound Naby Keita could depart for Anfield before the end of the season.

After much speculation in pre-season, the Reds eventually reached an agreement with Leipzig for Keita - who was so impressive in his debut Bundesliga campaign - to move to Merseyside in July 2018.

Liverpool reportedly agreed to pay a premium on top of Keita's already substantial release clause of EUR48million to secure the deal, and there has been talk that Jurgen Klopp's side will try to bring him to the Premier League ahead of schedule to boost their campaign.

But Rangnick is adamant that no such situation will be sanctioned by Leipzig, who themselves feel Keita is crucial to their own targets.

Leipzig are still in contention in Champions League Group G and sit second in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich, so losing Keita could jeopardise securing a second consecutive top-four finish.

"Even if we should not reach the knockout stages of Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool earlier," Rangnick told Leipziger Volkszeitung. 

"We want to qualify for Europe again and we need Naby for that."