The Reds have been linked with the RB Leipzig centre-half for some time and are now ready to push a big-money deal through
Liverpool have triggered the release clause in Ibrahima Konate’s contract at RB Leipzig, Goal has learned, with a five-year contract agreed with the French defender.
The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with the Reds for some time, but is now in a position to push through a big-money move to England.
A long-term contract has been agreed with the highly-rated defender and a deal could be wrapped up in the coming days.
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What is the deal worth?
Konate’s release clause at Leipzig is worth in excess of £35 million ($50m), with Liverpool prepared to invest heavily in securing his services.
All of the relevant paperwork is now in place, with signatures all that are missing.
A medical will also need to be completed, but those at Anfield are confident that they can land a top target.
Why are Liverpool looking at Konate?
Jurgen Klopp saw best-laid plans decimated by injuries in 2020-21, with his defensive ranks feeling the full force of those blows.
Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were among those to take in lengthy spells on the sidelines, forcing academy graduates to be promoted and fresh faces to be drafted in.
Ozan Kabak was among those acquired in January, in a loan agreement with Schalke, but an £18m ($26m) purchase option will not be taken up there.
With Konate seemingly on his way to Merseyside, Klopp must now decide what to do with a number of other options at his disposal.
Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips impressed during a late surge for Champions League qualification, but could both be loaned out in 2021-22, while a decision also needs to be made on the future of winter arrival Ben Davies – who is yet to take in an appearance for the club.
Who else did the Reds have their eye on?
Konate has figured prominently on Klopp’s recruitment radar ever since the decision was taken to bring in another centre-half.
Alternative options have, however, been considered, with Liverpool eager to ensure that they are not solely reliant on Plan A.
Brighton defender Ben White, who has made England’s preliminary squad for this summer’s European Championship, is another that the Reds have considered, along with Marseille star Duje Caleta-Car.
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