Liverpool have triggered Ibrahima Konate’s £36m launch clause and hope to finalise a deal for the RB Leipzig defender within the subsequent few days.
Discussions are beneath method between Liverpool and Leipzig for the 22-year-old centre-back.
Konate made 21 appearances for Leipzig this season, together with eight Bundesliga begins because the membership completed second – 13 factors behind champions Bayern Munich.
The France U21 worldwide would increase Jurgen Klopp’s defensive choices, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all hoping to return for the beginning of subsequent season after lacking the vast majority of the 2020-21 marketing campaign by means of damage.
The accidents noticed Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at occasions deployed at centre-back, whereas Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have been the defensive pairing on the tail-end of the season as Liverpool secured a top-four place and Champions League soccer subsequent yr.
Liverpool had signed Ben Davies completely and Ozan Kabak on mortgage from Schalke as defensive cowl in January.
Davies is but to make his Liverpool debut, he was an unused substitute eight occasions, whereas Kabak made 13 appearances however appears set to return to Germany regardless of the membership having the option to buy the 21-year-old this summer time.
At Leipzig, Bayern-bound Dayot Upamecano and Willi Orban performed many of the season at centre-back, whereas Konate suffered an ankle damage in December which saved him out for 2 months.
Upon his return, Konate – whose contract was as a consequence of expire in June 2023 – remained an unused substitute in each of Leipzig’s Champions League last-16 matches towards Liverpool.
What ought to Liverpool do that summer time?
When inspecting Liverpool’s transfer options this summer time, Sky Sports activities pundit and former captain Jamie Carragher stated centre-back was one space the membership have to strengthen in.
Carragher stated: “Liverpool will definitely enhance, there isn’t a doubt about that. As quickly as you usher in three centre-backs who’re already on the membership that may enhance them massively.
“However we hold speaking about centre-backs, Graeme (Souness) talked about Van Dijk, the larger downside for me is on the different finish of the pitch. Liverpool haven’t had accidents there.
“As a rule, it’s the similar entrance three with Diogo Jota coming in. He’s the one one of many entrance three that has been injured out of the attacking gamers.
“That’s the larger fear as a result of I’m positive that the defensive frailties that we have now seen at occasions this season shall be rectified by gamers coming again and Liverpool signing a participant in the summertime in that place.
“The large fear is that there’s a altering of the guard. Not a lot this workforce coming to an finish however simply that it needs to be freshened up.
“I feel by means of the centre of the workforce – centre-back, central midfield and positively somebody up high to go straight into the beginning line-up and break that entrance three up.
“They’ve been wonderful for 4 or 5 years however as we have now highlighted on exhibits earlier than, very not often will we see entrance threes keep collectively so long as these have. They’ve been wonderful for Liverpool however the lack of targets is the most important fear for me.”
In the meantime, fellow Sky Sports activities pundit and ex-Reds skipper Jamie Redknapp says: “They have to recruit a few gamers and so they lose Wijnaldum, however I feel Liverpool are going to come back again very robust subsequent yr.”