Liverpool confirm club-record deal for Naby Keïta to join from RB Leipzig in July 2018

Liverpool confirm club-record deal for Naby Keïta to join from RB Leipzig in July 2018

Naby Keïta will officially become a Liverpool player on July 1, 2018, the Reds announcing a deal which will see them exercise the Guinean's £48 million release clause and hand RB Leipzig a premium fee - reported to be £7 million - on top.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Liverpool have officially confirmed a deal for RB Leipzig's Naby Keïta that will see the midfielder becoming their club-record signing as of next summer.

The Reds have pursued the Guinean throughout the summer to no success, bids of £57 million and £66 million being rejected, but have finally reached an agreement with the Bundesliga club.

The move will see the 22-year-old move to Merseyside on July 1, 2018, spending the remainder of the current campaign with Leipzig as they embark on their maiden Champions League campaign.

Liverpool have met Keïta's £48 million release clause, which comes into effect next summer, also paying an undisclosed premium figure - believed to be around £7 million - to ensure that they staved off competition for his signature.

Keïta - who scored eight goals and managed seven assists in 31 Bundesliga appearances last season as Leipzig finished second - completed a medical in Wilmslow on Monday.

His fee makes him Liverpool's most expensive ever addition, surpassing the £36.7 million deal for AS Roma winger Mohamed Salah earlier in the summer.

Keïta's arrival is of huge significance for Liverpool with the box-to-box player, who can play as both a No.6 or a No.8 in the centre, with Jürgen Klopp having established him as his top target this summer.

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Keïta to remain a Liverpool fan from afar until next summer

He said after the deal was officially announced on Tuesday morning: "I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool Football Club next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly."

The Guinea international insisted that in the meantime his commitment to Leipzig "remains absolute", adding that he has given his all "every time" he has played for the Saxony club.

"That will be the case until the final whistle, in my final appearance," he continued. "Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season. Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance."

Liverpool's spending could continue further as they look to clinch a deal for AS Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar. They have submitted a bid in the region of £60 million, with Monaco yet to respond.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, nearing a £35 million move to Chelsea, is an alternative to Lemar although Arsenal are apparently unwilling to sanction a move to a club they consider close rivals.

Divock Origi could be used as a make-weight in an attempt to agree a deal for Lemar, the Belgian striker frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities at Liverpool - though it is not known whether his move would be a permanent one or just on loan.

French starlet Kylian Mbappé is on the verge of a move to their Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain, a season-long loan before completing a mega-money permanent move next summer, which leaves Monaco searching for firepower.

Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk also remains a top target although the Saints have long maintained that the Dutchman will not be allowed to leave for any price despite repeatedly signalling his intentions to exit the South Coast club.

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