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