Ibrahima Konate: Liverpool close to sealing transfer after triggering RB Leipzig defender’s release clause

The centre-back is set to feature for France at the U21 European Championships this summer

Melissa Reddy
Senior Football Correspondent
Friday 28 May 2021 09:19
Comments

Liverpool have triggered Ibrahima Konate’s £36 million release clause at RB Leipzig and are prepping the official announcement of the signing with all formalities completed.

The centre-back is expected to be confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s first new recruit of the summer well before the end of the weekend with the clubs agreeing to a bespoke payment structure.

The Merseysiders wanted to speed up the process with Konate a core part of the France U21 European Championship team in Hungary and Slovenia.

The 22-year-old has been the club’s primary defensive target, ticking the boxes on stylistic approach, age, system he’s used to playing in and availability on a good fee.

As revealed by The Independent in January, Liverpool were not pursuing David Alaba to play in the heart of defence as they were seeking a younger, taller, more physically dominant candidate - especially in the air.

Konate stands at 1.94 m, in comparison to Virgil van Dijk at 1.93m, and Joel Matip at 1.95m.

Liverpool have not taken up the option to make Ozan Kabak’s loan deal permanent for £18 million, and Nathaniel Phillips is now pondering whether to remain at Anfield to potentially be fifth-choice or seek regular starts elsewhere.

Ben Davies is unlikely to stay on Merseyside having not played a minute for the club, while Rhys Williams is fielding loan offers.

By securing Konate, Liverpool hope to solve a long-standing key issue of not having enough quality in depth in defence given the injury records of Matip and Joe Gomez.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in