It is ‘expected’ that Ibrahima Konate will arrive at Anfield this summer – and only a case of triggering his release clause at the conclusion of the season.
That is according to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, with RB Leipzig’s Konate long-stated as Liverpool‘s top defensive target this summer.
The Frenchman ticks a number of boxes as the Reds look to strengthen their centre-back options in the coming months, with both youth and experience on his side.
A release clause makes negotiations straightforward with the price already set, albeit one which has had conflicting reports ranging from £28.2 million to £40 million.
Nevertheless, there remains an expectation that the 21-year-old will don the red of Liverpool from 2021/22 onwards, although Pearce was clear that until the club triggers his buyout clause “nothing is certain.”
“We expect Konate to come in and increase that competition for places,” Pearce said on the Athletic‘s Red Agenda Podcast.
“We know discussions have gone on with the player’s representatives, but as of yet Liverpool haven’t triggered that release clause.
“Until that happens, nothing is certain. I wouldn’t expect that to happen until after the end of the season.”
Much of Liverpool‘s transfer plans could rest on which, if any, European competition they qualify for next season but Konate remains a when as opposed to an if when considering the various reports to emerge this year.
Konate’s most recent outing for Leipzig came in the DFB-Pokal semi-final win over Werder Bremen on April 30, where he played 120 minutes to book a showdown against Borussia Dortmund – it was his 20th outing of the season.