• Guinea international is said to have undergone a medical on Monday.
  • Reports suggest that Liverpool have agreed to pay next summer's £48m release clause plus a big premium on top.
  • Keita will spend the rest of the season at Leipzig before moving to Anfield on 1 July 2018.

Liverpool finally appear to have agreed the club-record signing of RB Leipzig midfielder and Barcelona target Naby Keita, who will reportedly not make the switch to Anfield until next summer.

According to multiple publications including The Times, Liverpool have triggered the £48m ($62m) release clause in Keita's contract that was due to become active in 2018 and paid a "premium" on top of that figure to secure a deal now. The 22-year-old was said to have undergone a medical on Monday (28 August) and will officially join on a five-year deal on 1 July 2018.

Keita emerged as Jurgen Klopp's priority target following the arrival of Mohamed Salah from AS Roma, with Liverpool seeing offers worth £57m and £66m rejected as 2016-17 Bundesliga runners-up Leipzig refused to sanction the sale of any key performers before their maiden foray into the Champions League.

There was even speculation regarding a third bid in the region of £75m before it was reported that the Reds had temporarily abandoned such a pursuit and were set to return next year when Leipzig would be powerless to prevent him from leaving for a much lower fee.

However, it appears that Liverpool have been quick to strike now amid speculation from Catalan publication Mundo Deportivo that Barcelona had identified Keita as a potential late alternative to Philippe Coutinho.

Inter Milan have also been tracking a player who would likely have commanded significant interest from a whole host of European heavyweights - especially at a reduced price - if he is able to replicate the form he showed in his maiden season at Leipzig in 2017-18.

Former Horoya AC and FC Istres midfielder Keita has made 35 appearances across all competitions for Ralph Hasenhuttl's side since joining from Red Bull Salzburg in June 2016, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists. He has also earned 25 senior international caps for Guinea and will overtake £36.9m winger Salah as Liverpool's most expensive ever signing.

Liverpool have made three new additions to their squad during the current window to date in Salah, Dominic Solanke and Andrew Robertson and it emerged earlier on Monday that they were also hoping to inflict more misery on Arsenal following yesterday's 4-0 demolition on Merseyside by beating the Gunners to a deal for Thomas Lemar.

According to The Telegraph, they have submitted a second £64.6m offer for the versatile French winger after AS Monaco rebuffed an initial £55m approach earlier this summer. Liverpool have also turned down multiple bids from Barcelona for Coutinho, the last of which was said to be valued at more than £114m, although it remains to be seen if their defiant stance will soften before the Spanish transfer window closes on Friday.

Naby Keita
Naby Keita reportedly underwent a medical at Liverpool on Monday