Cape Town - RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita has revealed how close he is to Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, his potential future team-mate at Anfield.
The Guinea international is set to join the Reds in a club-record fee in 2018, where he will be reunited with the Senegalese striker who he briefly played alongside during their time together at Red Bull Salzburg.
"At first, I wasn't starting and it was very frustrating," Keita told Goal.com website. "I didn't like it and it made the settling-in period harder.
"But Sadio said: 'My little brother, stay calm. Your chance will come and when it does, you will make the most of it'.
"He helped me with everything - the language, making friends, understanding the club and the city. And, of course, he was right. Once I was put into the team, I showed my qualities and everything went much smoother.
"Salzburg improved me as a player and I learnt so much there, I got a really tactical education. Sadio was important for me, he still is!
"To me, he's my big brother. He really likes to learn new things, to improve and to push himself and we are the same in this way. He's a good example for me."
Mane himself also spoke fondly of the Bundesliga player, saying that "he is a really special player and is like family to me."
"We were close at Salzburg and still keep in touch," Mane said. "I enjoy watching him and look forward to helping him again when he comes next year.
"He asked me about Liverpool and I told him this is an amazing club with talented players, a great manager and lots of ambition. The city and the people are really nice and he will feel at home here."