Liverpool may have a deal in place for Naby Keita, but the Bundesliga outfit have trolled the Reds over the failure to push an early agreement through.
With Philippe Coutinho having left Anfield for Barcelona during the winter transfer window, Jurgen Klopp was expected to step up his efforts to bring in midfield reinforcements.
As Keita is already set to complete a £57 million move to Merseyside in the summer, it was suggested that his switch could be brought forward – with Leipzig being suitably compensated.
No concerted effort was put in to making that happen, though, and the Guinea international will see out the season in Germany - much to the delight of his current employers.
Leipzig made it clear throughout the endless rounds of rumours that they had no intention of negotiating an early release, with Keita considered to be vital to their cause.
A statement released by the club in mid-January read: “Naby Keita will remain an RB Leipzig player until 30th June 2018. We wish to put the speculation about a January move to Liverpool to bed.”
The German tactician told reporters on his plans as deadline day approached: "Philippe Coutinho is not to be replaced in this transfer window. We have to stop thinking about. It's not about replacing anybody. It's about using our own opportunities, tools, players, tactics, all that stuff."
Those comments were music to Leipzig’s ears, with the window now closed and Keita still on their books.
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) February 1, 2018
Despite having a deal in place to leave the club, Keita has remained a regular for Leipzig this season.
He has made 22 appearances in all competitions, netting six goals and providing one assist.