2D64T6B France U21's Ibrahima Konate

Liverpool ‘agree five-year deal’ with Ibrahima Konate ahead of £30.5m move

Liverpool are claimed to have agreed a five-year contract with RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, who is due to move to Anfield for £30.5 million this summer.

Konate is top of the Reds’ list of defensive targets this summer, and a release clause in his contract with Leipzig makes negotiations straightforward.

With no need to discuss terms with the Bundesliga club, as an offer worth the £30.5 million stipulated would trigger his exit, Liverpool have been able to approach the 21-year-old with their contract proposal.

According to the Guardian‘s Fabrizio Romano, the Reds have now agreed a five-year deal for the Frenchman, “having fought off competition from several other Premier League clubs.”

Chelsea and Man United were among those credited with an interest in Konate, but he looks set to become Liverpool’s first signing of the summer instead.

Romano has gained a reputation as a ‘tap-in merchant’ among journalists – in other words, relaying information from other sources to his 2.6 million Twitter followers without attribution – but that this story was picked up by the Guardian lends credibility.

Interest in Konate was first reported by BILD‘s Christian Falk in December, followed up by the New York Times‘ Rory Smith in January and then The Athletic’s David Ornstein last month.

02 October 2019, Saxony, Leipzig: Soccer: Champions League, Group phase, Group G, 2nd matchday RB Leipzig - Olympique Lyon in the Red Bull Arena. Leipzig's player Ibrahima Konate on the ball. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Ornstein claimed that Liverpool were “in the process of finalising a deal,” and that now appears to be the case, though it remains to be seen when any official confirmation would be made.

Earlier this month, however, Konate himself insisted that he “did not get a call from Liverpool,” casting doubt over the deal.

It seems likely that this was simply part of the game, with there too much speculation from wide-ranging sources for there not to be any truth in the Reds’ push to bring him to Merseyside.

Whether Konate’s arrival would rule out a permanent switch for Ozan Kabak is unclear, with the Turk available for £18 million per the terms of Liverpool’s loan agreement with Schalke.