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Mali Star Keita Almost Joined Liverpool

Former FC Barcelona midfielder, Seydou Keita, revealed he turned down Premier League side Liverpool to join struggling La Liga club, Valencia.

The Mali international returned Europe after 18 months with Chinese club, Dalian Aerbin, and was presented at the Mastella in front of 600 fans on Monday afternoon.

The 34-year-old 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 seems to have been one of at least three Liverpool targets, who left Reds boss, Brendan Rodgers, disappointed after the recent January transfer market.

Liverpool saw Chelsea snatching the signature of Mohamed Salah and were also not able to agree terms for Ukraine attacker Yevhen Konoplyanka.

Keita confirmed that he signed an initial six-month contrat with Valencia, despite offers from Dubai, Qatar and Turkey. The deal includes an option for another season, as he wanted to prove his fitness after 18 months away from top level club football.

"It is important that this is clear," Keita continued.

"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."

The double Champions League-winner with Barcelona was at the Camp Nou on Sunday when his new side gifted his former side the first home defeat after 25 consecutive victories.

"The truth is the victory was a big boost for everyone," Keita added.

"We were in the stand watching the game and, when Barca scored the first goal we thought it would be very difficult, but in the end we managed to win, very well.

“It was a good game and the team played really well. They are just three points, but beating Barca is not easy. All the team was really happy, and me too."

Did Keita make the right choice and why does Liverpool seem to struggle to land their transfer targets? Have your say in the comment section below.

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