Liverpool could end up paying as much as €75m (£65.9m, $88.3m) for the transfer of RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita, according to the latest reports from Germany.

The Guinea international will arrive at Anfield on 1 July 2018 after a preemptive deal was finally struck in August.

Liverpool, having initially seen two club-record offers rebuffed, were said to have paid a premium on top of a £48m release clause in Keita's contract that was due to become active next summer in order to secure a deal almost a year ahead of schedule, although the exact financial details were never disclosed.

Estimates on how much the Reds will have to pay both up front and in add-ons have typically varied depending on the publication.

Sport Bild's newest report released on Thursday (14 December) detailed that the exact amount actually depends on where Leipzig, currently third after achieving a runners-up berth in their maiden campaign in the top tier of German football, finish in the Bundesliga.

If Ralph Hasenhuttl's side manage to seal a second successive Champions League finish, then they will receive the top mark of €75m. That figure is scaled down accordingly, with €70m owed for Europa League qualification and €65m if they miss out on continental competition altogether.

Bild also back up CEO Oliver Mintzlaff's assertion that the bulk of the fee will go directly to Leipzig, with neither Keita nor his representatives believed to have a share. However, 15% is owed to Red Bull Salzburg, for whom the 22-year-old played for two seasons before joining Die Bullen in a €15m deal. Their cut of €75m would be around €9m.

Box-to-box midfielder Keita has made 19 appearances for Leipzig across all competitions so far this term, scoring five times including twice in the group stages of the Champions League. Concerns over his temperament were sparked in October when he was sent off three times in the space of just seven matches for club and country.

Mintzlaff recently confirmed speculation that Barcelona had also been interested in Keita, a close friend of Sadio Mane who finished behind Liverpool's Egyptian sensation Mohamed Salah and Gabonese Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in the race to be named as the BBC's African Footballer of the Year for 2017.

Suggestions that he could move to Merseyside six months ahead of schedule in January have been quashed by both Leipzig and Keita himself, with the player insisting that he has "a lot still to achieve in this campaign".

Sporting director Ralf Rangnick, meanwhile, labelled Keita as "exceptionally talented" and one of the very best talents he has worked with over the last 20 years. He also pointed to Leipzig's self-imposed salary cap as a major reason why they could not hope to realise their ambition of keeping him in Saxony for another five years.

According to Bild, the club will use the money received from his transfer to improve the squad, extend the contracts of their other top performers and repay loans to Red Bull.

Naby Keita
Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig in July 2018