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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Liverpool agree deal to sign Naby Keita in 2018 for club-record fee - sources

Craig Burley believes Leipzig's Naby Keita and Monaco's Thomas Lemar would both fit in well at Liverpool.
Steve Nicol argues for Liverpool keeping Coutinho and attempts to slide the Brazilian into the squad that thrashed Arsenal.

Liverpool have agreed a club-record deal to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2018, according to ESPN FC sources and multiple reports.

The 22-year-old underwent a medical in England on Monday but will stay with Leipzig this season before joining Liverpool next summer, sources confirmed.

Liverpool had been tracking the Guinea midfielder all summer and had two bids rejected by the Bundesliga runners-up -- the second of which was worth €75 million (£69.3m), Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz said.

Leipzig's stance -- both publicly and privately -- has been that Keita is not for sale at any price this summer as the club embark on the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Naby Keita
Naby Keita has agreed to join Liverpool next season after remaining at RB Leipzig for the current campaign.

However, Keita's contract reportedly includes an exit clause of €52m (£48m) that can be activated on July 1, 2018, and Leipzig have sanctioned the move to Liverpool.

Multiple reports that the Reds had agreed to pay a premium above the clause, and Bild said the price would depend on whether Leipzig qualify for Europe next season.

According to the German newspaper, Liverpool will pay the full €75m (£69.3m) should Leipzig qualify again for Champions League, €70m (£64.8m) if Leipzig secure a Europa League place, or €65m (£60.2m) should they fail to earn a place in Europe.

That deal will surpass the previous record fee of £36.9m (€42m) -- plus add-ons -- that Liverpool paid Roma for winger Mohamed Salah in June.

That deal could yet be surpassed before Keita arrives as reports in France on Monday said Liverpool had lodged a £55.5m (€60m) offer for Monaco forward Thomas Lemar.

ESPN FC senior football writer Mark Ogden contributed to this report.

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