Liverpool entering ‘final stages’ of transfer for highly-rated RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate… and Jurgen Klopp ‘could even get his man for as little as £28m this summer’
- Liverpool are discussing a deal for RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate
- The 21-year-old is one of the most highly-rated young defenders in Europe
- The Reds are entering the ‘final stages’ of the transfer, according to reports
- Jurgen Klopp could reportedly sign Konate for as little as £28million this summer
Liverpool are in the ‘final stages’ of a deal for highly-rated RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, according to reports in Germany.
Sportsmail reported at the end of March that the Reds were looking to finalise a £33million deal for the French Under-21 defender, who is closing in on 100 appearances for German giants Leipzig.
The 21-year-old has been touted as one of the top young centre-halves in Europe and Jurgen Klopp is looking to bring in a new defender after a season of injury woes in that department.
Liverpool are in the final stages of securing a deal for RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konta, say reports
Jurgen Klopp could reportedly get the Frenchman for as little as £28million this summer
And according to German news outlet BILD, Liverpool are going through the final checks of Konate’s data and could sign the centre-back for as little as £28million.
Despite his excellent performances in Germany, one area that could concern Liverpool is Konate’s injury record, with the Frenchman limited to just 89 league displays in four years at Leipzig.
Reds manager Klopp has been troubled with injury problems at centre-back this season with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all picking up long-term injuries throughout the current campaign.
Midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have been asked to fill in at the backline throughout the season, with the duo suffering injury problems themselves, while rookie defenders Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have also been called upon.
Konate (right) is closing in on 100 appearances in all competitions for German giants Leipzig
Klopp entered the transfer market in January to try and boost his defensive options but loan signing Ozan Kabak has struggled for form while former Preston defender Ben Davies has not featured for the Merseysiders.
The injury problems have ultimately derailed Liverpool’s season, with Klopp’s side sitting in seventh in the Premier League, having been eliminated from both domestic cup competitions and needing to overturn a Champions League last eight first-leg loss to Real Madrid next week.
Konate’s potential arrival at Anfield would provide Klopp with expert competition for Van Dijk and Gomez at centre-back, with the current Reds duo expected to be fit in time for the summer pre-season campaign.
Konate’s Anfield arrival would see him compete with Virgil van Dijk (left) and Joe Gomez (right)
The latest reports surrounding the French defender contradict RB Leipzig’s most recent stance regarding Konate’s future – with the German club’s sporting director Markus Krosche claiming a move away is off the cards.
Leipzig have already lost fellow centre-back Dayot Upamecano in recent months, who sealed a permanent move to Bayern Munich earlier this year which will be completed in the summer.
‘I think that (a move to Liverpool) this is not an option for Ibu,’ Krosche said at the end of March.
RB Leipzig have been bullish over the 21-year-old’s future, saying a departure ‘is not an option’
‘He has a long contract with us and he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.
‘He was unlucky last year as he had a long-term injury but this year he is developing well and he is an extremely important player that has a lot of potential.
‘We want to help him to develop further, and we play in Europe and have a very good team, so I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.’