RB Leipzig resist Liverpool's attempts to get Naby Keita in January

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RB Leipzig have poured cold water on reports Liverpool were close to securing an early deal for Naby Keita.

All three are in the last six months of their contracts and could be picked up in the summer for free. It remains to be seen if the Reds are willing to pay an added fee as they are already paying a premium to sign him in the summer.

Keita himself would rather join the Anfield outfit this month, with Leipzig out of the Champions League - a competition in which the English side are still competing this season. Someone like Gerrard, Souness, Alonso, Mascherano - these type of players.

The Guinea worldwide, who joined Leipzig from Salzburg in summer 2016, has featured 20 times in all competitions so far this term, producing five goals and one assist.

Keita plays as a box-to-box central midfielder in Ralph Hasenhuttl's 4-2-2-2 system. His primary position is a left-winger, but he can play as a second-striker and attacking midfielder equally well.

The Belgian has scored four goals in 18 appearances since joining on loan in the summer and the Bundesliga club recently confirmed their interest in signing Origi.

In nearly every other category, Keita's numbers have actually improved this term.

The former Southampton man was a regular scorer last season and it's important that he can maintain that because neither Georginio Wijnaldum nor James Milner have offered much of a goal threat this season.

Naby Keita is now whiling away the days at RB Liepzig ahead of his imminent move to Liverpool, which is ear-marked to go through on July 1st, 2018.

As such, he would be able to assimilate quickly into Klopp's tactical methodology.

"Keita has enormous potential", he said, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.