The pursuit of a successor for Naby Keïta has been one of the main focusing points of RB Leipzig’s summer, and it has been a tough ordeal. Finding a like-for-like replacement for such an influential figure was never going to be a simple task. However, the perfect profile has been right under their noses in the Red Bull microcosm the whole time in Amadou Haidara, who had a meteoric rise last season and made a name for himself in Red Bull Salzburg’s route to the Europa League semi-final.
Throughout the summer, the general consensus in the media was that Haidara wanted a move to RB Leipzig and a move across the border from one Red Bull club to another was inevitable. But on June 14 the speculation came to an abrupt end as it was announced that he had extended his contract with Red Bull Salzburg until 2022. Despite this, Rangnick admitted in an interview with Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that he still hasn’t given up hope on signing the Golden Boy nominee.
Did you rely too much on Amadou Haidara from Salzburg and messed up?
“Why should we have messed it up? I already watched Haidara when I was in Salzburg in 2015. His development does not surprise me at all. The development of Naby Keïta did not surprise me either. At the time when we signed him I was only surprised that nobody wanted him beside us. Not a single club from France wanted him.”
Are you still expecting opportunities to sign Haidara?
“That does not mean that he could not play in Leipzig someday. In any case, we will not stand by and watch him move to any other club, but we will try everything we can to get him one day. Assuming he and his agent want that too.”
Is there a pre-agreement with Haidara?
“No, but that we follow the player is obvious.”