Liverpool in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Ibrahima Konate

Liverpool have already begun planning for next season and are close to finalising a deal to bring Ibrahima Konate to Anfield next season.

After a more than disappointing season which has seen them relinquish their first title in 30 years without so much as a fight, manager Jurgen Klopp has moved quickly to try and tie up reinforcements ahead of the new campaign – starting with his defence.

21-year-old French centre-back Ibrahima Konate is the man at the top of the shortlist and a deal is reportedly close to being agree with the player’s club RB Leipzig.

According to The Athletic‘s David Ornstein the two clubs are close to agreeing a fee, with the player known to have a release clause of around €40m (£34m) and all parties are happy with the transfer.

The move for a new defender comes in a season where the club have suffered with horrendous injuries, including Virgil Van Dijk tearing his cruciate ligaments and Joe Gomez suffering a serious knee injury while on England duty.

Both missed the majority of the campaign, while the club’s only other senior defender Joel Matip has also missed very large chunks of the season through injury. These fitness problems have seen midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson deployed in defence, before the club signed Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies on deadline day of the winter window to try and ease their problems.

Davies is still yet to make his debut for the club however, but Kabak has grown into the role although he is currently only at the club on loan. Youngster Nathaniel Phillips has also done well when called upon, but Klopp has tried not to use him seemingly with him only being selected as a last resort along with Rhys Williams.

Konate will add an extra senior defender to the ranks but at just 21 has plenty of experience at first-team level and is widely regarded as one of the best young prospects in Europe in his position. His current teammate Dayot Upamecano was also linked with a potential move to Anfield, before agreeing a move to Bayern Munich for this summer instead.

One thing that will be interesting about Konate’s move to the Premier League is that he himself suffers with a lot of injury problems.

He signed from Ligue 1 club Sochaux in 2017 and has made less than 100 appearances so far due to fitness problems, but at 6ft 4′ and with great recovery pace he has the attributes to cope well in England if he is capable of staying fit.

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