Liverpool have reached an agreement to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig in a club-record deal that will see him join the club next year.
The 22-year-old had been one of manager Jurgen Klopp’s primary transfer targets, but the Bundesliga club had been unwilling to consider a sale ahead of their first season in the Champions League.
However, the Reds have finally struck a deal that will reportedly see them pay the £48million release clause in Keita’s contract, allowing him to move to Anfield on July 1, 2018.
The transfer makes the Guinea midfielder Liverpool’s most expensive signing, eclipsing the £36.9m upfront fee they paid Roma for Mohamed Salah in June.
Keita will spend the rest of the season with Leipzig and told Liverpool’s official website: “I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool Football Club next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly.
“My commitment to RBL 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 I will remain an interested supporter from a distance.”
Keita has made three appearances for Leipzig this season and scored in the 5-0 DFB-Pokal win over Sportfreunde Dorfmerkingen.
He won two league and cup doubles in Austria with RB Salzburg before moving to Leipzig last year and helping them to a second-place finish in their debut season in the Bundesliga.