RB Leipzig started this week with a flurry of activity that appeared to confirm the team’s commitment to an ambitious winter shopping spree. Tyler Adams’s transfer from the New York Red Bulls was officially confirmed, and RBL was reported to have a 35 million Euro budget available for further January spending.
With near unanimous reporting in Germany that Adams was a free transfer (countered by RB Live which cites a source at RBL saying it wasn’t, and RBNY which cites its own sporting director’s public statement that RBL paid a fee for Adams), the implication was that Leipzig’s pockets were still bulging with cash for a forthcoming transfer market splurge. Indeed, RBL CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said as much in an interview with Bild that was the source of many articles promising Leipzig would be launching a “transfer offensive” in January:
We have a small, fine squad, and in the summer some of the commitments that we wanted to make did not work out, so we had to accept that and were aware of that situation. In winter. We will catch up and definitely strengthen ourselves.
No one at all doubts that RBL is bringing in new players this winter: Adams is already confirmed; it is expected to be only a matter of time before RB Salzburg’s Amadou Haidara is announced as Leipzig’s second acquisition from a Red Bull sibling club for the January transfer window.
But Haidara was recently injured, seriously enough to raise questions about whether he’ll make it to RBL at all this season - and reportedly the appropriate treatment for his injury has caused something of a rift between RBs Salzburg and Leipzig.
When asked if RBL was bringing in two fit players this winter, head coach Ralf Rangnick appeared to confirm that was the case - immediately sparking chatter about who Leipzig’s third January acquisition might be. And that chat was only amplified by news of RBL’s 35 million Euro budget.
Gelecek sezon yeniden şampiyonlar liginde yer almak isteyen RB Leipzig devre arasında 35 milyon Euro harcamaya hazır. Keita transferinden kasasını dolduran Leipzig’in gündemindeki isimler:— Göksel Uzunoglu® (@10Goeki) December 6, 2018
But in his press conference ahead of RBL’s forthcoming Bundesliga game against Freiburg, Rangnick appeared keen to dampen the expectations he and his club had been stoking scarcely a week earlier.
Everton’s Ademola Lookman had a positive loan spell with Leipzig last season and Rangnick has made no secret of his interest in bringing the player back on a more lasting basis. But with Lookman having just cracked a Premier League starting lineup for the first time, Rangnick suggested the winter window would not be the right moment make a bid for the player.
He went to imply that any “third player” - assumed to mean a player not named Adams or Haidara - would only be necessary if Leipzig was still playing Europa League after the winter break (not at all certainty):
It only makes sense in the winter break to hire a third player if we continue to improve...What’s going to happen in the Euro League: Will we be there next year or not?
And finally he noted that injured winger Emil Forsberg might be ready to play again in the not too distant future, effectively boosting the squad from within:
If there are legitimate hopes, I do not necessarily see the need for us to do anything in January
For fans hoping to see Tyler Adams on the field in a Leipzig jersey sooner rather later, it should his chances of winning playing time no harm at all if he’s the only (fit) new signing at the club in January.