Liverpool are set for a significant saving on Naby Keita’s summer move due to RB Leipzig’s struggles in the Bundesliga this season.
A deal has been struck for the midfielder to move to Anfield at the end of this season, but the fee is to be determined by where the German side finish in the table in this campaign.
Keita’s release clause this summer was £48m, but Liverpool agreed to pay more than that such was their determination to fight off competition and land the Guinea international fro the 2018/19 season.
However, according to the Times, Leipzig’s probable failure to qualify for the Champions League this season mean that the final fee will probably be only a few million over that initial £48m figure.
If Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side reach the top four, then Liverpool will pay £59m for Keita’s services. However, should they fall short in that aim and qualify for the Europa League, that figure drops to £52.75m. In the scenario of Leipzig failing to qualify for Europe altogether, making a deal a season early will have been pointless for them as the previous £48m figure would then come back into play.
As it stands, Leipzig are in sixth place in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Leverkusen with three games remaining. They are, however, just one point above Eintracht Frankfurt in seventh, putting their European hopes on something of a knife-edge as the season comes to a close.
Although Leipzig themselves have struggled to repeat their heroics last season, Keita himself has been in good form as he prepares to move to the Premier League. The 23-year-old has scored nine goals (and assisted seven more) in 37 games in all competitions, already up from last season’s total.