RB Leipzig’s centre-backs have had long-standing links with Liverpool, with Ibrahima Konate the latest favourite and one whose release clause will prove attractive.
The centre-back position has been at the heart of discussions and debates for Liverpool this season, even before the long-term injuries to both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
It was thought the Reds had planned to inject a new face into the squad in the summer, and with mounting injuries in the position that stance has only solidified – but in the short-term, the pressure continues to mount.
Liverpool have until February 1 to find a quick solution, perhaps on loan or a free transfer, with quality signings at this stage of the season unlikely.
And while in an ideal world Jurgen Klopp would want “the short term solution [to be] the long term solution as well,” it is likely that the summer is where the latter is acquired.
A multitude of options have been linked, with Leipzig’s Konate the latest after seemingly usurping his club teammate Dayot Upamecano in the race according to latest reports.
The 21-year-old has attracted interest from across Europe having established himself as a reliable and exciting option, having already played 86 times for Leipzig.
And the France youth international’s release could only intensify interest, with BILD’s Christian Falk stating that the youngster has “an exit clause of around €30m plus that can be made possible this summer.”
That figure was then quoted as €40 million plus (£36m) by Falk on Twitter, a fee which is certainly an attractive one this summer during a time of financial uncertainty.
For comparison, Upamecano will be available for £37.3 million at the start of July due to a release clause in his contract.
Konate, who regularly plays as the right centre-back, is one who fits the mould as a long-term option with a high ceiling and with interest in the 21-year-old long-standing, it would not come as a surprise for Liverpool to pounce in the summer.
Man United and Tottenham have also been credited with interest and Leipzig will be steeling themselves for a summer of activity.
Konate is currently sidelined with an ankle injury which has restricted him to 12 appearances so far this season, but his return to action could come against Liverpool in the last 16 Champions League tie next month.