Liverpool have confirmed their first signing of the summer with French defender Ibrahima Konate set to arrive from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.
Liverpool have agreed a deal with 2020/21 Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig for the transfer of towering centre-back Ibrahima Konate, the Premier League bigwigs have confirmed on the club’s official website.
Konate came through the youth ranks at Paris FC and then spent time at FC Sochaux, rising to their senior team before he secured a transfer to RB Leipzig in the summer of 2017. In his four years at the Saxony-based outfit, the 22-year-old made 95 appearances, in which he netted four goals and set up one more for his teammate.
Heralded as one of the brightest young defenders in the Bundesliga, Konate has endured an injury-riddled past couple of years. Indeed, the Frenchman made just 11 appearances across all competitions during the 2019/20 campaign and managed just ten more than that during the recently-concluded 2020/21 season.
Nevertheless, Konate’s stock has not dropped one bit as was evident by the number of clubs interested in his signing ahead of the summer. However, for quite some time now, it had been reported that Liverpool had stolen a march over his other suitors in the transfer race. In fact, reports earlier this week had claimed that the Frenchman had already completed his medical with the Reds.
Accord Convenu ✅
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 28, 2021
And, as it turns out, that was exactly the case, as Liverpool have now officially confirmed the transfer, which will be completed on July 1, subject to international clearance and a successful work permit. The Reds have also confirmed that Konate has agreed terms on a long-term contract and passed his medical.
Speaking after the announcement, the 22-year-old expressed his pleasure to have signed for a club like Liverpool, saying, “I’m really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool. It’s a really exciting moment for me and my family and I am really looking forward to meeting my new teammates, the staff and getting started on this new chapter.”
“Right now, my focus is on the U21 European Championships with France, but after this competition I know I will be joining one of the best teams in the world and that gives me a great feeling.”
Liverpool were in desperate need for defensive reinforcements heading into the new season given how they were left exposed following long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. And even though Konate has had injury-related issues of his own in the recent past, the 22-year-old has shown great promise and has a very high ceiling.
The Mirror claims that Konate cost Liverpool £36 million, although there is no mention of the duration of the contract he has signed. The French defender’s arrival is also likely to mean that the Merseysiders will not be signing Ozan Kabak on a permanent deal.