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Soccer-Werder Bremen sign midfielder Keita from Liverpool

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(Reuters) – Werder Bremen have signed Guinea captain Naby Keita from Liverpool on a free transfer, the Bundesliga club said on Friday.

Werder did not specify the length of contract but Germany’s Bild newspaper said he has signed a three-year deal until 2026.

Keita spent two seasons in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig from 2016-18, helping guide them finish runners-up in 2017.

“The coach (Ole Werner) gave me a really good feeling and showed how I can help the team. Werder is a special club and I know the Weserstadion from my time with RB Leipzig,” Keita said.

The midfielder joined Liverpool from Leipzig for a fee of more than 50 million pounds ($62.77 million) in 2018 but struggled with injuries, making 129 appearances in five seasons. He won five major trophies with the Merseyside club.

The 28-year-old played only 13 times for Liverpool in the 2022-23 season as they finished fifth in the Premier League and failed to win any silverware.

Keita has been capped more than 50 times since making his international debut in 2012.

“Naby is a technically gifted and hard-running midfielder, who will provide us with lots more flexibility. He is dangerous in front of goal and can also provide assists too,” said Werner.

“He will be an important figure in the centre of the pitch for our squad.”

Werder finished 13th in the Bundesliga after promotion from the second tier under Werner.

($1 = 0.7966 pounds)

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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