RB Leipzig sign Kevin Kampl from Leverkusen as a future replacement for Keita

Bildnummer: 11295830 Datum: 26.08.2012 Copyright: imago/Christoph Reichwein 26.08.2012, Bochum, Fussball, 2. Bundesliga, VfL Bochum - VfR Aalen. Kevin Kampl (Aalen) jubelt mit nacktem Oberkörper nach seinem Siegtor zum 0:1 für den VfR Aalen, er macht den Balotelli Jubel. ; x0x xsk 2012 quer Fussball Fußball Herren Männer Männer Soccer Wettbewerb Wettkampf Saison 2012/2013 2012/13 12/13 DFB DFL 2. Liga 2. Bundesliga Liga 2 Spieltag 3 3. Spieltag VfL Bochum 1848 Bochumer BO VfR Aalen Image number 11295830 date 26 08 2012 Copyright imago Christoph Reichwein 26 08 2012 Bochum Football 2 Bundesliga VfL Bochum VfR Eels Kevin Kampl Eels cheering with unclothed Upper body After his Siegtor to 0 1 for the VfR Eels he makes the Balotelli cheering x0x xsk 2012 horizontal Football Football men Men Men Soccer Competition Competition Season 2012 2013 2012 13 12 13 DFB DFL 2 League 2 Bundesliga League 2 Matchday 3 3 Matchday VfL Bochum 1848 Bochum Bo VfR Eels
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Kampl, 26, joins the Champions League club on a four-year deal for a reported basic transfer fee of €18 million

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. However, the Slovenia international is likely to play alongside the Guinea international this term as the club make their Champions League debut, after finishing second last season.

The transfer means a departure from Leipzig’s transfer strategy of only signing players up to the age of 24.

Kampl, who was earlier linked with a transfer to Beijing Guoan, has already played for Red Bull Salzburg, Leipzig’s partner club, and at Leverkusen trained under the Austrian’s former coach Roger Schmidt, and has since learned the Bundesliga runners-up’s playing style from the bottom up.

Kampl broke into Leverkusen’s first-team fold in 2010/11 and since then the Slovenia international has embarked on something of a nomadic path in the following years, representing Fürth, Osnabrück and Aalen in Germany’s lower leagues, before starring for an FC Salzburg side that won the Austrian Bundesliga in 2013/14.

Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick had signed him for Salzburg from Aalen in 2012, and in 2014 hoped to convince the player to join Leipzig. However, at that time, Kampl opted to join Borussia Dortmund. During his short-lived spell at Borussia Dortmund between January and August 2015, before returning to Leverkusen, he went on to make 72 appearances in all competitions, scoring six goals.

Kampl is currently on international duty preparing for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Lithuania.