Liverpool are reportedly closing in on the capture of RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, who is likely to cost around €40 million.
According to The Athletic, Liverpool are in advanced talks with RB Leipzig over the transfer of Ibrahima Konate. Their sources in Germany indicate that the Premier League giants have made a lot of progress in the negotiations and the transfer could be finalised soon if everything goes according to the plan.
Konate would become the second high-profile defender to leave RB Leipzig this summer, following the footsteps of his defensive partner Dayot Upamecano, who has opted to join Bayern Munich. At the Allianz Arena, the French centre-back he is likely to replace David Alaba, who, in turn, has been heavily linked with a move to Spain.
Although Konate is not as mainstreamed as Upamecano, particularly due to a poor fitness record that has halted his progress in the past couple of years, regular followers of the Bundesliga do rate the young French defender in the same category as his compatriot.
Both the centre-backs boast marvellous pace, although Upamecano does edge slightly as he is currently one of the fastest players in the Bundesliga. In addition, they are quite comfortable in possession and have an imposing frame that helps them dominate aerial and physical duels.
Such quality could prove to be invaluable for a Liverpool side that has been cursed by injuries in the ongoing campaign. The likes of Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have missed the majority of the season due to their respective spells out on the sidelines, forcing Jurgen Klopp to cope with a makeshift backline for the most part of the campaign.
A fellow Bundesliga star in Ozan Kabak was brought in on loan from FC Schalke in January to supplement the depleted defensive unit. However, with his loan deal expiring at the end of the season, the youngster’s future at Liverpool remains uncertain, although it is certain that he will leave Schalke in the event of their likely relegation to the second division.
In Konate, Liverpool will find themselves an ideal long-term defensive partner for van Dijk. Fast, physical and skilled in possession, the young Frenchman has all the makings of becoming a defensive asset for the Reds and his potential arrival would surely take some of the burdens off of the more versatile individuals in Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Both the midfielders have featured at centre-back at some point this season, so the presence of Konate should allow Klopp to deploy them in their favoured position in central midfield. It could bode well for the club, especially considering Georginio Wijnaldum’s impending departure from Anfield at the end of the season.