Liverpool announce agreement to sign Ibrahima Konate

Jamie Spencer
Ibrahima Konate is Liverpool's first signing of the summer
Ibrahima Konate is Liverpool's first signing of the summer / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Liverpool have confirmed they have struck an agreement to sign centre-back Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, with the transfer to become official when the summer window opens on 1 July.

Konate has made a name for himself as one of the most promising young defenders in Europe since joining Leipzig from Bordeaux in 2017 and will boost Liverpool’s centre-back options next season.

“I’m really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool,” the 22-year-old told his new club’s official website.

“It’s a really exciting moment for me and my family and I am really looking forward to meeting my new teammates, the staff and getting started on this new chapter.

“Right now, my focus is on the U21 European Championships with France, but after this competition I know I will be joining one of the best teams in the world and that gives me a great feeling.

“I have worked very hard for many years to get to this point, but I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at RB Leipzig and all the people I worked with there – the coaches, my teammates, the staff and especially the fans.

Ibrahima Konate
Konate has spent four years with RB Leipzig / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

“Your support helped me grow up during my time there and become not only a better player, but a better man and I will always be grateful for it.”

Liverpool saw the centre of defence ravaged by injuries during the 2020/21 campaign, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both succumbing to season-ending injuries after a matter of weeks and Joel Matip also eventually seeing his season curtailed early by fitness trouble.

The Reds had to rely on Fabinho and Jordan Henderson filling in as emergency centre-backs, before signing Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke in January and later turning to home-grown pair and unlikely heroes Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams as a partnership in the final weeks of the season.

Konate will provide depth and competition for Joe Gomez & Virgil van Dijk
Konate will provide depth and competition for Joe Gomez & Virgil van Dijk / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The arrival of Konate, believed to be for a transfer fee in the region of £30m, now makes it unlikely that Liverpool will also trigger their option to sign Kabak on a permanent basis.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!