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Naby Keita already calls Liverpool star his ‘big brother’ ahead of move next summer

The RB Leipzig star was snapped up for a club-record fee by the Reds this summer

Liverpool fans have made a habit of talking about ‘next season’ down the years with the Premier League title consistently evading.

‘Next season the title will be ours,’ ‘we’re just warming up for next season’ etc etc.

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But when you’ve got arguably the hottest midfield prospect in Europe arriving next July, having an eye on next season is perfectly understandable.

Keita will join Liverpool next summer

AFP - Getty
Keita will join Liverpool next summer

The Reds wrapped up a club-record deal to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig in August, but with the agreement that the Guinea star would stay in Germany for one more year.

And the 22-year-old has revealed he already has a close relationship with one Liverpool man in particular.

Keita and Sadio Mane had one season together at Red Ball Salzburg before the speedster was snapped up by Southampton.

Mane played a pivotal role in convincing Keita to join Liverpool

PA:Empics Sport
Mane played a pivotal role in convincing Keita to join Liverpool

And in an interview with Goal, Keita has paid tribute to the influence his ‘big brother’ had on convincing him Liverpool was the right move.

“He is a really special player and is like family to me,” he said.

“Sadio was important for me, he still is! To me, he’s my big brother. He really likes to learn new things, to improve and to push himself and we are the same in this way.

Keita regards Mane as a ‘big brother’

Keita regards Mane as a ‘big brother’

“He’s a good example for me. We were close at Salzburg and still keep in touch.

“I enjoy watching him and look forward to helping him again when he comes next year.”

It looks like Mane has been just as useful off the field as he has been on it to Liverpool since his move from Southampton.