Liverpool finalising deal to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate

Tom Gott
Liverpool are close to striking a deal for Ibrahima Konate
Liverpool are close to striking a deal for Ibrahima Konate / Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Liverpool are close to completing a €40m deal to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate once the summer transfer window opens.

Jurgen Klopp has been keen to bolster his defensive ranks after long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip left him forced to chop and change his squad just to try and stay afloat. Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak were both brought in in January, but the desire to find a new centre-back remained.

Jurgen Klopp
Klopp wants a new defender / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Well, according to The Athletic's David Ornstein, they've found one, and his name is Konate.

An agreement to sign the 21-year-old is not yet finalised, but talks with Konate are understood to be at an advanced stage and sources in Germany claim that Liverpool have made 'significant progress' in their attempts to sign him.

There are still other suitors for the Leipzig defender - Chelsea and Arsenal have both been linked with Konate recently - but it appears as though Liverpool have moved out in front.

Ibrahima Konate
A deal for Konate is not yet done / Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

It is unclear how much Liverpool would be prepared to pay for Konate, but it is expected that any interested side would have to trigger the defender's release clause, which is understood to sit at around the €40m (£35m) mark.

Liverpool hope to get a deal over the line as soon as possible and are pushing to get a deal done before this summer's European Championships. There have yet to hold talks with Leipzig, but if they agree to pay his release clause, they can bypass negotiations completely.

Winning the race for Konate would be an enormous coup for Liverpool, who see the Frenchman as someone who can make an immediate impact now and remain a star for the next decade.

He would be expected to compete for a starting spot at Anfield immediately, particularly given there are still no return dates for any of Van Dijk, Gomez or Matip.

On top of Konate, a decision must be made on Kabak, whose loan from Schalke contains the option for Liverpool to sign him permanently for £18m.

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