RB Leipzig’s summer signing Naby Keita has claimed he was in contact with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before opting to join the Bundesliga newcomers.
Courted by a number of top European sides, Keita reveals he was swayed by Leipzig’s sporting director Ralf Rangnick who treated him like a son – despite receiving a call from Arsenal manager. Keita said Wenger’s phone call was not enough to break the bond between him and Rangnick, as they have known each other from their time at Austrian side RB Salzburg.
The 21-year old combative midfielder also stated that he was not yet ready to move to a top side like Arsenal. “I only had contact with Arsene Wenger, who spoke French to me”, the Guinean international said of interests from clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool, Southampton and Manchester City.
“Ralf has treated me like a son. He came to France in 2014 to sign me for Salzburg and I trust him entirely. I joined RB because it is an exciting club with great potential. I didn’t want to move to a big Champions League club immediately. It’s still too early”, Keita added.
This report would have come as a surprise for Arsenal fans as the last item expected to be on Wenger’s shopping list is a midfielder – with a defender a huge priority.
Keita joined Leipzig for a reported €15m and one can only imagine how much the midfielder will cost in the next three to four years, should he progress exceptionally.