Jurgen Klopp has jokingly suggested that RB Leipzig ‘played’ Liverpool and forced them to overpay for Naby Keita and Ibrahima Konate.

The Reds heavily pursued a deal for Keita back in 2017, but were forced into agreeing a £48m deal with Die Roten Bullen for a transfer to be concluded the following year instead. They then completed the signing of Konate for £36m last summer.

Liverpool’s pre-season preparations continued on Thursday with a 5-0 win at Leipzig, with club record signing Darwin Nunez grabbing four.

Klopp was in such high spirits post-match that he agreed to an interview with Keita and Konate on Leipzig’s club channels, and he joked that the Bundesliga side forced Liverpool into overpaying for the duo.

“These are two great guys that you’ve given us…even though you played us a little and we paid way too much money for them! We’re still really happy,” Klopp laughed.

Keita was signed to much fanfare and though while he hasn’t hit the heights expected of him individually, he has contributed to plenty of team success, winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his time at Anfield.

Konate, still only 23, has seen his game time at centre-back split with Joel Matip since arriving on Merseyside, though notably started the Champions League final back in May.

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