Highly rated Rb Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita has announced his special relationship with future teammate Sadio Mane describing him as like a 'Big Brother.' Next season the Guinean international will join Liverpool for a fee of £48 million after the Reds triggered his contract release clause in the most recent transfer window.

Both players have shared meteoric career paths in recent years. Whereas Mane started at Ligue 1's Metz before moving to RB Salzburg, Keita was plying his trade in Ligue 2 for FC Istres. Keita joined the Austrian club, owned by the energy drink manufacturer Red Bull, just as his "Big Brother" Mane's was coming to an end.

Relationship with Mane

Keita explained to Goal that "At first, I wasn’t starting and it was very frustrating, I didn’t like it and it made the settling-in period harder."

According to the midfielder, Mane helped him settle by telling him to be patient. Keita describes Mane saying "My little brother, stay calm. Your chance will come and when it does, you will make the most of it. He helped me with everything – the language, making friends, understanding the club and the city. And, of course, he was right. Once I was put on the team, I showed my qualities and everything went much smoother. Salzburg improved me as a player and I learnt so much there, I got a really tactical education."

“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. He’s a good example for me.”

A Mixed Season

This season has so far held mixed fortunes for Keita. Last seasons Bundesliga surprise package, RB Leipzig are once again exceeding expectations and find themselves occupying the German first division's second spot.

However, the east German football club has not been able to replicate their domestic success in European competition. Leipzig has lost two out of their four games and find themselves in a battle with AS Monaco for a Europa League place. Keita has also found himself on the wrong side of officials several times this season. His poor disciplinary record this season has stretched to three red cards in thirteen appearances this season.

Liverpool fans will be keeping tabs on their future player's tempestuous relationship with the officials this season. Hoping it is just a short spell of over-exuberance. The Red's have been excelling in Europe this season but have struggled to find consistent form in the league.

Fans will be expecting Keita's special relationship with 'big brother' Sadio Mane to fire Liverpool to a successful challenge for a top-flight title next season. A feat the Red's haven't managed since 1990.