Liverpool have reportedly agreed a club record deal for Naby Keita with the midfielder set to move to Anfield on July 1, 2018.
The Guinea midfielder passed a medical in Wilmslow on Monday morning and the Liverpool Echo as well as several national newspapers have reported the deal has now been finalised.
Liverpool had seen bids of £58million and £66million rejected for Keita this summer, but RB Leipzig always knew they were powerless to keep the player next summer, with a buy-out clause of £48million kicking in.
With the player keen to make the move and with Jurgen Klopp keen to tie the midfielder down, a deal that will see Keita move to Anfield for a club record fee next summer has now been agreed, although Liverpool themselves are yet to confirm the deal.
Liverpool’s reported capture of their long-term target comes on the day that Spanish reports suggested Keita was emerging as a target for Barcelona, with the La Liga side wanting to exact revenge on Liverpool for their refusal to sell Philippe Coutinho by moving for the Guinean.
The Keita transfer has been one of the most on-off in many-a-year at Anfield, but it seems that Liverpool finally have their man.
Discussing their decision to snub Liverpool’s £66m offer earlier this summer sporting director Ralf Rangnick explained: “There were two offers from Liverpool and in between times also a telephone call between the clubs. But not between me and Jurgen Klopp.
“For us, it was always clear that we would not give Naby Keita. That is why there was no direct contact.
“Every club that has sporting ambitious would have done the same as we did.
“But we must weigh it up. If we let Keita go for €70-80m this year, what more would that bring us compared to the sum we would get next year?”