Liverpool target Ibrahima Konate passes 'medical tests' as £34m transfer draws nearer


RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate has already completed a medical ahead of his proposed move to Liverpool, according to reports. The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a summer switch to the Premier League, with Chelsea and Manchester United among those to have been mentioned in connection with his services in recent months.

Konate, who is under contract until the summer of 2023, is said to be growing frustrated with his playing time at Leipzig under Julian Nagelsmann, who has opted to leave him out of the side when fully fit on no less than seven occasions in the Bundesliga this season.

He is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best young central defenders and looks set to follow team-mate Dayot Upamecano out of the exit door ahead of next season.

Liverpool are on the hunt for defensive reinforcements in order to avoid a repeat of their hapless efforts in the Premier League as of late, with their poor recent performances heavily influenced by a lack of strength in depth after injuries to a number of first-choice options.

The Merseyside club are said to be in advanced talks with Konate’s representatives over the possibility of a summer switch.

The Athletic claimed on Monday that any interested party would need to match the defender’s £34million release clause in order to force through a move.

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It seems as though a deal could be some way down the line, with Konate having already passed a medical in Paris according to RMC Sport.

It is also claimed that the France under-21 international has spoken to ‘several clubs’, but Liverpool appear to be in pole position to snap up his signature.

Konate was left as an unused substitute for both legs of Leipzig’s Champions League round of 16 clash with Liverpool earlier this month.

The Reds were previously reported to be weighing up a permanent move for Schalke loanee Ozan Kabak, who was drafted in on deadline day in January to provide some much-needed cover at the back.

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If their approach for Konate is successful, though, it would likely spell a return to Germany for Kabak at the end of the season.

Liverpool have also been linked with the likes of Sevilla star Jules Kounde and Pau Torres of Villarreal in recent weeks.

It is believed that the club are keeping tabs on a number of alternative options despite edging ever closer to the signing of Konate.

Leipzig director Markus Krosche has moved swiftly to deny the speculation surrounding the defender’s future, suggesting that he has every chance of blossoming into a top-class player with the Bundesliga title challengers.

“I think that this is not an option for Ibu,” Krosche told Sky Sports. “He has a long contract with us and he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.

“He was unlucky last year as he had a long-term injury but this year he is developing well and he is an extremely important player that has a lot of potential.

“We want to help him to develop further, and we play in Europe and have a very good team, so I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.”

Konate has played 15 times in all competitions for Leipzig since the beginning of the campaign, helping to keep five clean sheets in the process.



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