Liverpool Finally Get Their Man For Club Record £70m Fee ••
Liverpool will sign midfielder and long term transfer target Naby Keita
However he will not arrive until 2018 and will stay in Germany for the season
Liverpool made two bids last month up to £70m but negotiations ground to a halt
Liverpool have agreed a club record deal for Naby Keita that will see the Guinea international join them next summer.
The RB Leipzig midfielder had been a prime target for Jurgen Klopp during this window but Liverpool shelved their interest after having two bids – the second worth £70million – rejected.
However, Klopp’s intention was always to return for Keita in 12 months time and Liverpool have now come to an agreement with Leipzig that will see him join for the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
Keita had a release clause of £48million that could have been triggered next year but Liverpool have paid that fee and a considerable supplement on top to ensure they got their man.
The 22-year-old arrived in the Northwest on Monday for a medical and he will then return to Leipzig – who will play in the Champions League – for the rest of this season.
This has the potential to be a busy week for Liverpool and Thomas Lemar, the highly-regarded Monaco winger, could usurp Keita as the club record signing before midnight on Thursday.
Lemar, who has been pursued by Arsenal and Manchester United this window, is one of a number of Monaco players whom Liverpool have enquired this summer, the others being Paris Saint-Germain target Kylian Mbappe and Benjamin Mendy, who joined Manchester City.
It would take a fee of more than £70million for Liverpool to stand any chance of prising Lemar away from Monaco, as the French champions have indicated they do not want to lose any more of the squad that reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.