• Guinea international has no plans to move to Anfield ahead of schedule.
  • Midfielder to join the Reds next summer after £48m release clause was activated.
  • Keita compared to ex-Barcelona midfielder Deco by his father and owned a Liverpool shirt as a child.

Liverpool look destined to be made to wait to bring Naby Keita to Anfield after the Guinea international followed his club RB Leipzig in ruling out an early move to the Premier League.

The Reds agreed to pay a club-record £48m fee – and an undisclosed premium - to last season's Bundesliga runners-up for Keita to move to Merseyside in the summer of 2018.

German football expert Lee Price has claimed the deal could be brought forward to the upcoming January transfer window, if Liverpool pay an additional fee to Leipzig.

But after sporting director Ralf Rangnick quashed any suggestions that Keita's move would be completed early, the 22-year-old himself has stated he has no plans to cut short his career in Germany.

"I have a lot still to achieve in this campaign with Leipzig and my focus is all on them," Keita told "The club have been good for me and I've grown so much with them. The move from Salzburg to Leipzig was great for me and I have gone up another level. Last season was special for us, we played great football and finished second in the Bundesliga to give us our first taste of Champions League.

"I used to watch Xabi Alonso in the Champions League and Premier League when I was in Guinea and last season I got to play against him in midfield before he retired. When I think about things like this, it reminds me of how blessed I am, but also of how hard I've worked and far I've come. But this is only the start, I am never satisfied, I never get comfortable."

Thanks to his close relationship with Liverpool forward and fellow-African Sadio Mane, Keita has kept a close eye on the 19-time English league champions for many years; though his attachment with the club runs deeper than just his relationship with his close friend.

Keita's father is described as a "huge fan" of the club and was delighted when his son completed his move to Jurgen Klopp's side. However, as a child Keita was torn between Barcelona – he was compared to former Barca playmaker Deco by his dad – and Liverpool before eventually selecting to support the five-time European Cup winners.

"When I was around 11 or 12, my friends and I were choosing which shirts we would get for our team," he added. "Because my father nicknamed me Deco as he thought I played like him, I wanted us to get the Barcelona strip - they were my favourite.

"All my friends were Liverpool supporters, though, and I really liked the club too so we decided on them. I don't think any of them or I could really imagine that I would grow up to actually wear a real Liverpool shirt and represent the real Liverpool!

"My father is a huge fan! As far back as I can remember, he has been talking about them. Before I even knew what Liverpool was as a kid, he was mad about them.

"Of course, when he found out about their interest and when the deal for next season was done, he was delighted. He wanted to speak about Istanbul, Steven Gerrard and every other big game or player of the club."

Naby Keita
Keita is content with spending the whole season in Germany. Getty Images