Liverpool have reportedly agreed a deal with Ibrahima Konate as they close in on a £31million swoop for the RB Leipzig defender.
The Reds have been linked with the 21-year-old for some time as they look to avoid the problems they faced this season, when a debilitating injury crisis left Jurgen Klopp with no fit senior centre-halves.
Liverpool are believed to have been in talks with Konate’s representatives, and now those negotiations appear to be coming to a close with the defender set to join in the summer.
That’s according to a report from The Guardian, which claims Konate has agreed a five-year deal with Liverpool, who are poised to pay his £30.5m release clause.
But United look set for disappointment, according to the latest reports.
Liverpool have reportedly completed checks on Konate, with the defender having made just 12 Bundesliga appearances this season due to injuries.
The Reds will be desperate not to find themselves in the same position next season as they did this term, when their title defence was undermined by an injury crisis that saw Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all ruled out with long-term injuries.
Konate would provide competition for Gomez and Matip for the role as Van Dijk’s centre-half partner.
Agreeing a deal for Konate early will help Liverpool pursue other targets this summer, with Klopp’s side having been linked to Lyon forward Memphis Depay and Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge.
Earlier this month, Konate was giving little away when asked about rumours that the Reds were in talks to sign him.
“There are a lot of rumours in football, and many believe them immediately,” he said.
“But neither me nor my representatives have received a call from Liverpool.
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“In addition, I still have big goals with RB Leipzig.
“These include doing as well as possible in the Bundesliga, to reach the cup final and the European Under-21 Championship with France.”
“I have a contract until 2023, and contracts are there to be fulfilled.”
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