Naby Keita says he consulted with Sadio Mane before deciding to move to Liverpool, and hopes to help the club improve on their success last season.
Keita will officially become a Liverpool player after agreeing to join from RB Leipzig on July 1, but completed his first training session at Melwood on Wednesday ahead of the start of preseason next week.
The dynamic midfielder has remained close friends with Mane from their time as teammates at RB Salzburg in Austria and both are represented by the same football agency, arena 11.
“I chose Liverpool because it is a team I watched often and I also spoke a lot about it with Sadio,” Keita told Liverpool’s official website. “He told me a lot about the team and the club. Sadio is like family to me. We were friends at Salzburg and he was like a brother to me.
“After training we used to go home together. He was my best friend there. I’m looking forward to being his teammate again.
“I also spoke with the coach [Jurgen Klopp], who told me about the project for the team and that motivated me to be here.”
Liverpool triggered a release clause in the 23-year-old’s contract in August that only came into effect in at the end of the 2017-18 season, which meant he played the last campaign in the Bundesliga.
However, Liverpool’s new No. 8 closely observed Klopp’s side last term, watching them reach the Champions League final, and hopes his first season at the club can be even more successful.
“When you see how they performed last season it makes me want to do the same and to be a part of this team,” Keita added.
“I would like to be able to achieve a similar kind of season with them next season but even better.”