Naby Keita: Liverpool agree $62 million club record fee for Guinea international

Story highlights

Naby Keita to join Liverpool in July 2018

Club record deal of $62M agreed with RB Leipzig

Keita will become the most expensive African player in history

CNN  — 

With clubs across Europe scrambling to complete last-minute deals ahead of the European summer transfer window’s closure later this week, English Premier League side Liverpool have announced a signing – for the 2018-2019 season.

Liverpool confirmed Tuesday that they have reached an agreement with German club RB Leipzig for Guinea international Naby Keita’s “future transfer.”

“The Reds have agreed a deal with the German club and the midfielder that will see the 22-year-old move to Anfield on July 1, 2018 following the conclusion of the current season,” said Liverpool on their website.

Liverpool will reportedly meet the 22-year-old’s release clause of $62 million as well as paying an undisclosed premium to be able to complete a deal to bring the player to Anfield.

Both clubs confirmed the deal Tuesday, with Keita expressing his relief at having his future resolved after months of speculation.

“I am delighted that an agreement has been reached,” he told the Leipzig website. “I will become part of a project that excites me greatly.”

Naby Keita will join Liverpool in July 2018 in a deal worth $62 million.

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‘Interested supporter’

Tuesday’s announcement ends a summer of speculation surrounding Keita’s future.

At one point Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick suggested Keita was being advised by “a whole village in Guinea”. Rangnick later clarified his comments saying: “That there are people behind Naby, that demand his transfer.”

Keita was one of the star players for Leipzig last year as the club finished second in the Bundesliga and qualification for the Champions League.

“My commitment to RB Leipzig remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club,” said the Guinea international.

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“Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping Leipzig achieve great things this season,” he continued.

“Until I join my new club, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance,” added on the Liverpool website.

The deal for Keita means that Liverpool will own the three most expensive African players of all time as he joins Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah ($47 million) and Senegalese striker Sadio Mane ($43 million) at Anfield.

The European transfer window closes on Thursday, with Liverpool also reportedly linked with a move for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar.

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Meanwhile Keita will be back in action on the pitch for Guinea on Thursday in a World Cup qualifier as they take on Libya in Conakry.