Reports over the future of Ibrahima Konate continue to be tied to Liverpool, but contradictory updates remain over his release clause this summer.
The Frenchman has emerged as the top target for Liverpool this summer, with his experience and youth offering both a valuable short and long-term option in defence.
That he has a release clause makes any negotiations straightforward, with the Reds able to trigger his exit from RB Leipzig without discussing terms with the price already set.
However, that said price has been subject to conflicting reports in recent weeks.
BILD’s Christian Falk stated it was lower than first thought, in the region of £29.5m- £28.2m, while the Guardian‘s Fabrizio Romano later reported a five-year deal had been agreed in a £30.5 million move.
Now, the Telegraph‘s Mike McGrath has stated the 21-year-old’s buyout clause is “higher than first thought” and could instead set Liverpool back £40 million.
The Reds remain in “pole position” to land Konate but Leipzig are keeping an eye on Liverpool’s Champions League bid this season and if the financial hit will affect their transfer kitty.
But bolstering the defensive line has long been a priority and Liverpool will need to allocate the funds required if Konate is the chosen one.
And while penny-saving after the pandemic would be welcomed by the club hierarchy, £40 million remains an attractive fee for a player with 65 Bundesliga appearances at the age of 21.
He is a highly-rated prospect and one who some rate above current teammate Dayot Upamecano, who is to join Bayern Munich in a £37 million deal at the end of the season.
Whether a move to Anfield for Konate would see Ozan Kabak return to Schalke remains unclear, however, with the Turk to be available for £18 million in the summer.