Naby Keita’s international team-mate helped convince the midfielder he did not need to force a move to Liverpool.
The Guinea international made headlines in the latest transfer window after getting in a heated argument with one of his RB Leipzig team-mates during training.
Keita was desperate to sign for Liverpool, but Leipzig refused to sell to the English club despite several huge offers.
The transfer saga spilled over into Keita’s conduct at the club, but a phone call from Ibrahima Traore helped Keita realise he needed to rein in his frustrations.
‘He’s fantastic, he’s a really really good player,’ he told the BBC.
‘Everything that has been said about him is true. I have no concern about him because I think he is going to do great [at Liverpool].
‘We have a really good relationship, I called Naby during pre-season because I heard he had some issues in Leipzig with some of the players and I know he wasn’t happy with the situation because he wanted to move to Liverpool.
‘I told him: ‘This not good what you are doing because you are still a Leipzig player.
”I understand the situation is not easy, but look what has to happen will happen.
”You will go to Liverpool, if it’s not this year, it will be next year.
‘You will go to Liverpool, but in the meantime you have to concentrate and you have to train with Leipzig because this is your team.
”If they say you don’t go, you don’t go [this year] but you will go to Liverpool because they have shown that they want you.
‘We talked for a long time and he said: ‘Yes, you’re right, I still have to play a season here, so I still have to play good here.”
As a result of the softening of Keita’s stance, Leipzig did eventually do business with Liverpool and agreed a fee with the Reds.
Keita will join Liverpool next summer in a club-record deal and has settled back into giving his best for Leipzig.