Leipzig bank on Forsberg, deny interest in Bayern's Rudy

Berlin (AFP) –


Sweden star Emil Forsberg looks set to remain at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig for the 2018/19 season despite reported interest from Italian clubs Roma and AC Milan.

"It's up to us - and Emil still has a four-year contract (until 2022) - so he stays," Ralf Rangnick, who has replaced Ralph Hasenhuettl as Leipzig head coach, said at a training camp in Seefeld, Austria.

"In the last five weeks, no club has registered (interest) with us, and I hope that it will remain so in the next five weeks," Rangnick added, with the new Bundesliga season to start on August 24.

Forsberg started all five of Sweden's games at the World Cup in Russia, scoring in a 1-0 win over Switzerland that sent his team through to the quarter-finals.

"It's flattering that clubs are showing interest, but right now I'm just concentrating on Leipzig," Forsberg told German daily Bild when asked about interest from Serie A.

With Naby Keita now at Liverpool, Forsberg is expected to be Leipzig's chief playmaker this season in their bid to break Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the Bundesliga.

Forsberg and Denmark's Yussuf Poulsen, who has also just returned after World Cup duty, will be in the squad for Thursday's Europa League qualifier at Swedish club BK Haecken in Gothenburg after Leipzig won the first leg 4-0 last week.

Forsberg will stay in Sweden after the play-off, with his wife in the final stages of her pregnancy as the couple expect their first child.

Meanwhile, Rangnick has denied reports the club are interested in signing Bayern Munich's Germany midfielder Sebastian Rudy.

According to magazine Sport Bild, contact has already been made with Rudy's agent.

The 28-year-old is said to be on Rangnick's wish list, but his age counts against him as RB have a transfer policy of only signing players no older than 24. The club also caps a player's annual salary at around four million euros.

"Regardless of whether Sebastian Rudy is a very good player - how should that work for us? This rumour will answer itself," Rangnick told magazine Kicker.

Rudy moved from Hoffenheim to Bayern in 2017, but he was not used in key games last season and is under contract with Munich until 2020.

Leipzig, who finished sixth in Germany last season, begin their 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign at Borussia Dortmund on August 26, two days after Bayern host Hoffenheim in the season opener.