Ibrahima Konate: Liverpool finalising deal to sign centre-back from RB Leipzig

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Jurgen Klopp is probably regretting his decision not to sign a new centre-back last summer.

Fourth choice Dejan Lovren left the club, meaning just Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip were the only senior defenders left.

If those three players had stayed fit this season, Liverpool may have got away with it.

But both Gomez and Van Dijk have been ruled out for the majority of the campaign due to serious knee injuries, while Matip has also struggled with his fitness.

It’s left the Reds in big trouble.

On deadline day in January, they brought in Ben Davies from Preston while they also loaned Ozan Kabak from Schalke with an option to sign.

However, it seems they’ve set their sights on another defender for the summer.

That’s because, according to The Athletic, they’re close to signing highly-rated RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate.

According to David Ornstein, Liverpool are “in the process of finalising a deal” and could trigger the 21-year-old’s €40 million - £34.2m deal - release clause.

Konate has played 89 times for the German club after arriving from Sochaux in 2017 and is currently with the French U21 side at the European Championships.

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GIVEMESPORT's Rob Hoskin says:

This looks to be a fantastic deal for all parties. After a disappointing title defence this season, it seems Klopp is determined to solve all the problems his side has faced this season.

While Van Dijk was the best defender in the world before his injury, he will begin next season as a 30-year-old. There's no guarantee his return after such a long layoff will be a smooth one. The same applies to Gomez, who has suffered several long-term injuries during his short career.

Matip look set to be moved on in the summer and Konate would be a fantastic option at the heart of the defence. It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will decide to pay the £18m needed to acquire Kabak permanently but this arrival suggests they probably won't. 

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