Liverpool have sealed a club-record deal to sign midfielder Naby Keita from German side RB Leipzig, although the Guinea international will not officially join the Anfield ranks until July 2018.
The Reds have agreed to pay a £48m release clause in his contract, plus an undisclosed premium, to lure the 22-year-old, who was one of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s primary transfer targets this summer, to Merseyside.
Liverpool had already seen two offers for Keita rejected this summer, the latter understood to be around £70m, but a compromise has been reached where Leipzig retain their player for another season.
The fee for Keita will surpass Liverpool’s current transfer record of £35m, which they paid Newcastle for striker Andy Carroll in 2011, and the deal follows a highly successful week for the Anfield club.
Liverpool ensured a return to the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2014 with a play-off victory over Hoffenheim last week, while Arsenal were brutally dispatched 4-0 in the Premier League on Sunday.
There could be further joy for Liverpool in the transfer market prior to Thursday’s deadline with the Reds set to test Monaco’s resolve with a bid, believed to be in the region of £60m, for midfielder Thomas Lemar.
Lemar, who can play centrally or on the flanks, had been a target for Arsenal, only for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to declare their pursuit of the 21-year-old “dead”.