Liverpool reach verbal agreement over RB Leipzig star

RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate in action

Liverpool have reached a verbal agreement to sign RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate this summer, according to Anfield Central.

What is the latest transfer news involving Konate?

The Reds entered negotiations with Leipzig back in February for the in-demand centre-back. 

Talks appear to be progressing well, and it is understood that Liverpool's sporting director Michael Edwards is playing a key role in trying to get the club the best deal possible.

It's said that a verbal agreement is already in place, although a deal with Leipzig hasn't been wrapped up just yet. 

How much is Konate worth and when does his contract expire?

The 21-year-old has a €40m (£34m) release clause in his contract, although Liverpool are reportedly unwilling to commit to paying this fee at the moment.

Konate's current deal at Leipzig is due to expire in 2023.

What are Konate's stats this season?

Konate has been limited to just nine league appearances this season due to struggling with numerous fitness issues.

In those nine games, Leipzig have managed to keep four clean sheets. Overall, the side have the best defensive record in the Bundesliga this term - they have conceded just 21 goals in 26 matches so far.

Liverpool's first choice defensive pairing of last season, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, have been restricted to just 12 matches between them in the Premier League.

Interestingly, Konate has outperformed them both across this small sample size of games in 2020/21. As per WhoScored, Konate has received an average game rating of 6.51 in the league this year - Gomez and van Dijk were awarded average marks of 6.48 and 6.45.

What has Paul Robinson said about Konate?

Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has been impressed when he has seen Konate play, and believes the French defender would be a fine addition to Jurgen Klopp's squad.

Speaking to Football Insider recently, Robinson said: “I have seen Konate play a fair few times and he looks strong, powerful, good in the air and he can also play out. I have noticed that he has got a great range of passing as well. When he is pressed by the forwards, he can play that ball over the top to the midfielders or strikers and that is something that Liverpool need.

“To get a centre-half of that quality, I think it would be a great signing for them. I like him, he looks like a very good player.”

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Who is this former Liverpool man?

Has Michael Edwards got one wrong this time?

Over the years, Edwards has earned himself a reputation for bringing in the right player at the right time. In January 2018, he convinced van Dijk to join the club - within five months the team made the Champions League final.

Then in July of that year, Liverpool enticed Alisson over to the Premier League, and have since gone on to win Europe's biggest competition and the Premier League.

However, he may have finally got a transfer deal wrong on this occasion. Van Dijk, Gomez and Joel Matip have all suffered long-term injuries this season. The last thing Liverpool need is another injury-prone defender joining the ranks. 

Unfortunately for Konate, Transfermarkt have documented five injury incidents since the beginning of last season, forcing him to miss 45 games.

Furthermore, the Merseyside club signed two centre-backs in January in the shape of Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak. This begs the question: why are they looking for another one already?

In Kabak, they have a player who is the same age as Konate and comfortably cheaper. Add in Konate's injury history, and it does not make much sense for Liverpool to be pursuing him.

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