Naby Keita has promised to be a ‘supporter from a distance’ after his £55million record move to Liverpool was rubber-stamped.
Jurgen Klopp has been desperate to add the Guinea international to his squad and Liverpool were able to reach a compromise with Red Bull Leipzig on Monday that saw them agree a deal that will enable to Keita to move to Anfield next summer.
Keita, who will wear Steven Gerrard’s iconic No 8 jersey when he moves to Merseyside, arrived in the Northwest yesterday with his agent to complete the final contractual details and undergo a medical.
His signing represents the second time Liverpool have broken their transfer record in this window.
Klopp sees the 22-year-old playing in an advanced midfield position with his high tempo style ideally suited to Liverpool’s pressing game and he is content to wait 12 months to get a player who he feels will help the club continue to make progress in the future.
Leipzig had inserted a £48million buyout clause in his contract that came into effect next summer but Liverpool have paid an extra £7million now to ensure that no other clubs could come and gazump them – Barcelona, for instance, had been linked with a move for Keita through the Spanish media.
The player himself, though, has made it clear that Liverpool was his preferred option all along and he is thrilled that his current and future clubs were able to broker terms that will see him continue his development in the Bundesliga and Champions League until the summer of 2018.
‘I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly,’ said Keita.
‘My commitment to Leipzig remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club. I have given my all every time I have worn the shirt – that will be the case until the final whistle, in my final appearance.
‘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.’
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