Seydou Keita Transfers to Roma: Latest Contract Details and Reaction

Stuart NewmanFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2014

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 09:  Keita Seydou of Mali celebrates scoring the 2nd goal during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Third Place Play-Off match between Mali and Ghana on February 9, 2013 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita joined Serie A giants AS Roma on Thursday, signing a one-year contract, per the club’s official website.

The statement was short and sweet from Roma, revealing that the 34-year-old, who was a long-term target of Liverpool, will spend next season in the Italian capital: “AS Roma would like to announce that an agreement has been reached for the signing of Malian player Seydou Ahmed Keita. The contract has the duration of one year, expiring on June 30, 2015.”

Brendan Rodgers reportedly looked to bring Keita to Anfield back in January, per Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star, but negotiations broke down, as the Mali international wanted to be granted guaranteed first-team football.

SEVILLE, SPAIN - APRIL 24:   Ivan Rakitic (L) of Sevilla FC is fouled by Seydou Keita of Valencia CF during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final first leg match between Sevilla FC and Valencia CF at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on April 24, 2014 in Seville,
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Instead, he made the switch to Valencia, but with the La Liga side not mixing it with Europe’s elite in the Champions League next season, Keita decided to move on.

Once a cornerstone of Barcelona’s invincible setup, Keita won La Liga three times during his spell at the Nou Camp and has two Champions League winners’ medals, per Yahoo Sport.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 03:  Seydou Keita of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sporting Gijon at Camp Nou on March 3, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Imag
David Ramos/Getty Images

With Roma back among the European best of the best after a five-year absence, having a player with the experience and professionalism of Keita will no doubt aid their quest for glory.

As revealed, the Malian’s passing accuracy during his time in La Liga is incredibly impressive and something Roma will benefit from in the 2014/15 campaign:

Signing on a free contract after his short-term deal at the Mestalla Stadium came to an end, Keita looked happy to be signing for Roma in this tweet from the club:

Though the transfer means Liverpool will need to shop around if they’re to bring a defensive midfielder to Anfield, it’s nothing but good news for Roma.

With Kevin Strootman not set to return from his knee injury until autumn, per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, having a player of Keita’s calibre filling his boots at Roma will see them keep their solid core in the team.

Though Juventus ran away with the Serie A title last season, the signing of Keita shows a statement of intent from the runners-up, Roma, who have an exciting 2014/15 campaign to look forward to.