Premier League

Keita reveals advanced Reds talks

Seydou Keita
Valencia's Seydou Keita was close to signing for Liverpool.
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Seydou Keita claims to have been in advanced talks with Liverpool before opting to link up with Valencia.

The former Sevilla and Barcelona midfielder has spent the last 18 months in China with Dalian Aerbin, but opened the door to a European return in January.

Brendan Rodgers was reportedly prepared to offer him a route to Anfield, with Liverpool keen on adding the 34-year-old's vast experience to their ranks.

A deal to take him to England was close, according to Keita, but he has revealed that he broke off discussions with the Reds once he was informed of Valencia's interest.

After being unveiled at the Mestalla on Monday, the Mali international told reporters: "When we received the call from Valencia, talks with Liverpool were at a very advanced stage.

"But then I told my agent we were going to Valencia. I did not doubt for a second.

"When I came to play at Mestalla with Sevilla or Barcelona I suffered a lot to win, because this is a really big club with fantastic fans. That is why I opted to come here."

Keita, who also had offers to consider from Dubai, Qatar and Turkey, has signed a six-month deal with Valencia which includes the option for a 12-month extension in the summer.

He added: "It is important that this is clear. I am coming here from China. To sign for a year-and-a-half is a difficult thing for the club.

"I told them to relax, that I would sign for six months and if I have the right level we will all have time to continue. That is better for the club and for everyone."

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