Liverpool close to finalising summer deal for Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate

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Liverpool are finalising a deal to acquire RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate this summer, swiftly aiming to bolster their centre-back ranks ahead of next season.

The Reds’ central defence has been the major talking point of their season, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all sustaining long-term injuries.

But even without the current situation which enforced January moves for Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies, a new centre-back in the summer was expected to reinforce the position.

And Leipzig’s Konate has been pursued by Liverpool, with the Athletic’s David Ornstein reporting that the Reds are “in the process of finalising a deal” to sign the 21-year-old.

It is stated that “the situation is already said to be at an advanced stage” and if no hiccups arise the France youth international is expected to be a Red prior to this summer’s international exploits.

There are said to be other suitors for the highly-rated Konate, but Liverpool have “made significant progress” on dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s to close out a deal.

One which is set to see Liverpool trigger his release clause with Leipzig not in a position whereby they have to sell, expected to be in the region of €40 million (£34.2m).

Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig plays the ball. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images Europe/Pool/dpa

The 21-year-old joined Leipzig in 2017 and has made 89 appearances in that time, with the 6’4” defender a natural right-sided centre-back.

With his age and experience in the Bundesliga and Champions League, Konate presents an option who can slot straight into the XI and add competition at the back.

His upside is vast and he certainly fits the bill of a long-term vision from the Reds, where his pace and the desire to carry the ball upfield fits the mould of a Jurgen Klopp defender.

Injury has disrupted his last two seasons but there will be a belief that it will not curtail his future progress and involvement.

A decision is still to be made on whether to activate the permanent purchase for Kabak which stands at £18m, but there is certainly a case to be made to add both the Turk and Konate this summer.

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