Ademola Lookman not ruling out extended stay at RB Leipzig
Ademola Lookman is refusing to rule out extending his stay at RB Leipzig, though the 20-year-old Englishman admits he is far from knowing his next move when his loan deal in Saxony comes to an end on 30 June.
Lookman has made a big impact since arriving at the Red Bull Arena from English Premier League side Everton in January. The London-born striker came off the bench to score the winner on his debut at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 21, and netted a second in the draw at Werder Bremen on Matchday 30.
Watch: Lookman focused on season run-in
Following Leipzig’s 3-0 loss at Mainz on Sunday, Lookman issued an update on his immediate future. "I've been asked this question so many times. My loan is until the end of the season and I'm focused until the end of the season. Whatever happens, happens. It's out of my control."
While the player is keeping all his options open, both head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl and sporting director Ralf Rangnick have both expressed firm interest in signing Lookman permanently. “I think he has huge potential and he’s done really well for us since he came,” said the coach. ”It was a really important transfer and I hope the last word hasn’t been spoken on the matter just yet.”
"If it were only up to us, then I would already know the answer," Rangnick also stated recently. "But it's not only up to us – there's no option in his contract. We'll have to see what happens in the summer, and it also depends on what happens at Everton."
Lookman’s parent club have also thus far been non-committal on where Lookman will play next season, with Everton boss Sam Allardyce saying the player could leave the club permanently. “Everybody has a price so if the price goes to where we think we should accept it then I would recommend it but if the price doesn't get anywhere near then we’ll have him back here and see how he goes on next season.”
Encouragingly for Lookman, he is at least enjoying regular top-level football at Leipzig. He was given a fifth league start at the Opel Arena, and despite his team’s bright start in which he almost assisted a goal for Youssuf Poulsen, the easterners fell to a disappointing 3-0 defeat. The result leaves them five points off fourth spot with only two games to play and means Leipzig’s chances of returning to next season’s UEFA Champions League are slim indeed.
Watch: Re-live Lookman's debut goal in the Bundesliga
"I haven't really got an answer for you, sorry, to be honest,” when asked about the performance against the 05ers. “You know, it's difficult to lose 3-0. We're all down. All I can say is that we're going to bounce back from this. It makes qualifying for the Champions League even more difficult. But you know, anything can happen in football. We just keep going."
Leipzig, who have lost four of their last five games in all competitions, host Wolfsburg next weekend before ending the season with a trip to the capital to face Hertha Berlin.