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Leipzig sign Kampl as cover for Liverpool-bound Keita


Berlin (AFP) – RB Leipzig announced Thursday the signing of Slovenia midfielder Kevin Kampl as a possible replacement for Guinea international Naby Keita who has agreed to join Liverpool for the 2018-19 season.

The 27-year-old Kampl switches from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported fee of 20 million euros ($23.7 million).

“The preconditions for further development at Leipzig are outstanding, I’m looking forward to training on Monday,” enthused Kampl.

His versatility as a defensive midfielder or winger means Kampl could potentially fill the playmaker role Keita will vacate when he leaves for Anfield at the end of the current season.

“He can hurt the opposition with his passes from deep,” said Leipzig’s coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.

“His movement in front of goal and the tempo he plays at are the attributes we need.”

Kampl has made 67 appearances in Germany’s top flight for former clubs Borussia Dortmund and Leverkusen since moving to the Bundesliga in 2015 from Leipzig’s sister club Red Bull Salzburg.

With the transfer window closing in Germany on Thursday, Leverkusen wasted no time in signing Greek teenage defender Panagiotis Retsos from Olympiakos for a reported 17.5 million euros on a five-year contract.

“Bayer Leverkusen have always played in the Champions League, despite a lot of competition nationally, that really impressed me,” said the South African-born Retsos.

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