Liverpool seal the summer’s FIRST big transfer, triggering Ibrahima Konate’s £36m release clause and agreeing personal terms with RB Leipzig’s French defender
- Ibrahima Konate is set to become a Liverpool player in the next 48 hours
- The Reds have met the Frenchman’s £36million release clause at RB Leipzig
- The 22-year-old defender has also agreed personal terms with the club
- Jurgen Klopp has snubbed the chance to sign defender Ozan Kabak permanently
- Yet the deal for Konate represents the first signing of a hectic summer window
Liverpool have agreed personal terms with RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate and have triggered his release clause of £36m this morning.
The 22-year-old French defender will now complete the formalities of the deal and is expected to be announced as Jurgen Klopp’s first summer signing in the next 48 hours.
Liverpool have been looking to strengthen in central defence after losing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to injury this season and Konate represents the first major summer investment by any of the Premier League’s top sides.
Ibrahima Konate (R) is on the verge of joining Liverpool after the Reds met his release clause
Konate will bolster Jurgen Klopp’s (R) defence which struggled with injuries last season
The deal will see Ozan Kabak return to Schalke following his loan spell at Anfield, but Kabak has offers from Premier League and Bundesliga sides after filling in for the likes of Van Dijk admirably.
Kabak had convivial talks with Klopp who has been encouraging of the young Turkey international, appreciative that he was brought into Liverpool’s line up at a difficult time.
Injuries meant Kabak could not play as significant part as he hoped but his performances have still prompted plenty of interest.
Yet the transfer of Konate is the first deal in a summer expected to be busy in the transfer market, with the likes of Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish linked with big-money moves away, as is Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
Konate, who Liverpool have long been linked with, is currently in France preparing for his country’s European U21 Championship quarter-final against Holland next week.
Jurgen Klopp has snubbed the chance to sign defender Ozan Kabak on a permanent transfer
The 22-year-old featured 21 times RB Leipzig this season but only started eight matches in the Bundesliga as Bayern Munich-bound Dayot Upamecano and Willi Orban established themselves as the first-choice centre-back pairing.
He will bolster a back-line hit by injuries in the 2020-21 season, with Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip all suffering serious injuries, which limited them to just 22 league appearances combined.
Leipzig are already understood to be looking for a replacement for Konate with France also keen that the deal is wrapped up quickly so he can focus on his international commitments.
Konate, who played 21 times for Leipzig last season, has been on Liverpool’s radar for a while
Ironically, the Bundesliga club have shown an interest in Kabak, who has been on loan at Liverpool since January.
Former Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum meanwhile is expected to agree a three year contract with Barcelona after his agent held further discussions in Spain on Tuesday. Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain had also shown interest.
Barca are also looking to finalise terms with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and his club mate defender Eric Garcia.