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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Transfer news: Liverpool agree record £48 million deal to sign Naby Keita for 2018

Athletic Guinea midfielder will remain at RB Leipzig for 2017/18 season. Stoke sign Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham for £18m

RB Leipzig's Naby Keita, right, has reached an agreement to join Liverpool at the end of this season. Martin Meissner / AP Photo
RB Leipzig's Naby Keita, right, has reached an agreement to join Liverpool at the end of this season. Martin Meissner / AP Photo

Guinea international Naby Keita will join Premier League club Liverpool next year after the English outfit agreed a reported club record deal of £48 million (Dh229m) with German side RB Leipzig.

Liverpool will also reportedly pay an undisclosed premium for the 22-year-old midfielder, who scored eight goals in 31 league appearances last term to help Leipzig finish runners-up in the Bundesliga.

"Liverpool Football Club can confirm they have reached an agreement with RB Leipzig for the future transfer of Naby Keita," read Tuesday's Liverpool statement.

"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."

Keita, who will be a pivotal figure in Leipzig's first Uefa Champions League campaign this term, said his present team remained his immediate priority but he was delighted to be joining such an historic club.

"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," Keita told the Liverpool website.

"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, next summer, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance."

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Liverpool's previous transfer record was the £35 million they paid Newcastle United to sign Andy Carroll in January 2011.

An athletic box-to-box midfielder, Keita has been a longstanding target for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

He began his career with Horoya in his home city of Conakry and spent a season at French second-tier side Istres before joining Red Bull Salzburg in 2014.

Salzburg sold him to their German sister club RB Leipzig in June last year.

Klopp has signed Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah, Scottish left-back Andy Robertson and English striker Dominic Solanke during the current transfer window.

Liverpool's 4-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday left them second in the Premier League table, two points below Manchester United.

Stoke sign defender Kevin Wimmer from Spurs

Austrian international central defender Kevin Wimmer signed for Stoke City from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday for £18 million.

Wimmer, 24, represents a good piece of business for Spurs having joined them in 2015 for £4.3m from German side Cologne. He joins Stoke on a five-year contract.

Wimmer had found cementing a regular first-team place impossible with Belgian duo Toby Alderweireid and Jan Vertonghen holding sway there.

The arrival of young Colombian Davinson Sanchez from Ajax earlier this month for a club record fee of £42m saw the eight-cap Wimmer's chances of a breakthrough diminish further.

"Kevin is an undoubted talent and he will significantly add to the quality of the group of players that I already have at my disposal," said Stoke manager Mark Hughes.

"We put a real emphasis on trying to enhance the defensive areas of the squad this summer and we feel that we have been able to do that."

Wimmer is Hughes's seventh signing since the end of last season, in which Stoke finished 13th, with the Austrian his third defensive reinforcement.

He has brought in Chelsea's French international defender Kurt Zouma on loan and bought Dutchman Bruno Martins Indi from Portuguese outfit Porto after he impressed during a loan spell last term.