Naby Keïta rejected Barcelona & Bayern Munich for Liverpool

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Naby Keïta has explained why Liverpool had been an easy choice for him, despite late interest from Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

The Guinean midfielder moved to Merseyside from RB Leipzig earlier this summer, completing a deal that was agreed between the clubs last year.

Having shone in the Bundesliga, Keïta was on the radar of many of Europe's elite clubs before Liverpool triggered his £48 million release clause last summer.

European giants Barcelona and Bayern rivalled Liverpool for his signature but, even before witnessing the Reds' exhilarating run to the Champions League final, the 23-year-old was convinced Anfield should be his next step.

Speaking to journalists, Keïta said:

It's true to say that there were other teams involved like the ones you mentioned.

But a big part of my decision was the role of the coach. We had good conversations a year ago. The words he spoke to me about this project really convinced me.

I could see how the club was developing. I saw how the team was evolving and throughout last season I really keen to get here, especially having seen how well they were doing.

We have got quality in the midfield and hopefully I can add to that quality and contribute in my own way. I have watched a lot of Premier League football and from being here I know we have got enough quality in our squad.

It is all about having the mindset and the desire to want it enough and to fight for it enough. That desire and belief goes a long way.

And it was Sadio Mané, a teammate in RB Salzburg before the Senegalese joined Southampton, whose words influenced his ultimate decision to say yes to Liverpool.

I spoke at length with Sadio. He told me what a great club this was and how the team had great potential.

Sadio is like a brother to me. We had nine months together at Salzburg and built up a good rapport. We have been great friends since that time. We keep in constant contact.

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