Liverpool set to sign Naby Keita as Reds agree deal with RB Leipzig for 2018 move

Liverpool look set to announce the signing of Naby Keita from Red Bull Leipzig, on a five-year-contract.

The 22-year-old was in England for a medical on Monday as the move nears completion.

With the very public target having been chased all summer by the Premier League club, with little success, it'll come as a huge relief to Reds fans to finally get things over the line.

Keita to join in 2018

Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, they'll have to wait until next year to see him, with the reported deal set to kick in next year.

That is, after Liverpool had multiple bids for Keita rejected over the course of the summer.

It look like the Reds had decided to hold off until next year, given that the Guinean midfielder has a 48 million euros release clause that comes into force next summer.

However, well aware of the risk of other clubs getting involved in the time between now and then, Liverpool have swooped late on in the window to agree a deal for next year.

It's understood that the Merseyside team will pay Leipzig the sum of Keita's release clause, plus a small 'premium' fee on top in order to guarantee that it will be Liverpool that snare him next summer, rather than another club.

That means that the deal seemingly works for each side, with Leipzig doing what they've always said they would - retaining Keita for another year as they play Champions League football for the first time. Liverpool still get their man, but at a cheaper fee than they would this summer and don't risk the chances of a rival taking him.

Who's next in?

After hammering Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday, it's been a big 48 hours for the Reds. They look set to miss out on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Arsenal opting to sell to Chelsea as they see Liverpool as too much of a direct rival to their top four place.

However, Liverpool have now launched a bid for Thomas Lemar to further strengthen their midfield, ironic as the AS Monaco playmaker has been a hot target of the Gunners this summer.