Naby Keita is an “unbelievable” player who Liverpool are lucky to have, according to the player’s former teammate and current Reds favourite Sadio Mane.
The Reds have struck a deal which will see the Guinea midfielder arrive at Anfield on a contract from July 1 – after Jurgen Klopp put to bed any talk that Liverpool could sign the player early during January.
Keita joined Red Bull Salzburg in the final months of Mane’s time with the Austrian Bundesliga side, before the winger’s switch to Southampton in 2014 and the two have remained in contact ever since.
Liverpool will pay a ‘premium fee’ for Keita, which could see him costing anywhere between £57million and £66million, but whatever he ends up costing the Reds, Mane believes the club have picked up a bargain.
speaking as part of Liverpool’s ‘At Home With…’ series, Mane explained his relationship with the midfielder, his role in convincing him to join and what Liverpool fans can expect.
“It just came normally, because we speak the same language and were close neighbours, Guinea and Senegal,” he said.
“When he came we lived [in the] same area in Salzburg, so we were always together: sometimes he came to my house, I’d go to his house.
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“We didn’t even speak German, but we had someone who took care of us. But I was better than him!
“We were so close. He’s not even a friend for me, he’s like a brother. We keep in touch all the time, talking.
“He asked me ‘how is the club?’, I said ‘unbelievable’. I don’t think it was me who convinced him, but the team, the club.
“I’m excited. I have to wait until next season! We are lucky to have him because he’s an unbelievable player—you will see.”