Liverpool finalizing Ibrahima Konate deal


Nothing has been signed yet, but Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig this summer, as David Ornstein reports in his Monday column for The Athletic.

The Premier League title is all but gone for the Merseysiders after what has been a very difficult season, with all three designated centre-backs that started the campaign now out for its remaining part. The problems began in mid-October when a reckless tackle by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford resulted in Virgil van Dijk suffering a torn ACL, and it went from bad to worse when Joe Gomez picked up a similar problem in England training. Joel Matip had several minor issues throughout the campaign and eventually hurt his ankle ligaments at the end of January.

The club initially produced two stop-gap solutions by bringing in Ben Davies from Preston North End and Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke, with an option to make the deal for the 20-year-old Turkey international permanent at the end of the season.

Leipzig are known for getting young, talented players noticed. Clubs around Europe wanted Dayot Upamecano, who will now be joining Bayern Munich in the summer, but the interest in Konate is not too far behind with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea all credited.

However, the Bundesliga side are under no pressure to sell Konate, which means Liverpool, or any other team that might end up signing him, will have to trigger his release clause, believed to be set at around €40 million.