Liverpool agree to sign Keita in 2018

Liverpool have reportedly agreed a club-record deal to sign Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, though the move will not be officially completed until July 2018.

Keita has been Jurgen Klopp’s No 1 target in midfield this summer but it appeared that the ‘Reds’ had missed out on the player after RB Leipzig rejected their two approaches and insisted the player would not be leaving this summer.

The 22-year-old excelled in the Bundesliga last season, proving himself to be one of the best midfielders in Europe.

The Guinea international scored eight goals and clocked up seven assists in 31 appearances for the German side last season. Such form did not go unnoticed and several of European football’s heavyweights were linked with a move for the midfield dynamo this summer.

Despite the interest from Eelsewhere, Jurgen Klopp’s side were always in the driving seat and such was their interest that they saw two bids for the player rejected, with the second believed to be in the region of £70m.

Leipzig had been desperate to keep the player, however Keita is known to have a release clause in his contract that comes into effect next summer.

The clause is believed to be set at £48m, considerably less than Liverpool’s bids this summer. But it is understood that Liverpool have agree to pay a premium on top of this price in order to get their man.

News broke on Monday that the two sides had reached an agreement that will see the player up sticks and move to Anfield on July 1 2018.

The player was due in the North-West on Monday for a medical, before returning to his current employers for the remainder of the season.

It could turn out to be a busy few days for Liverpool who have also been linked with a beat-the-deadline swoop for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar for a fee that could exceed that paid for Keita.

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