Liverpool set to make their first signing for next season - Ibrahima Konate
Which kind of makes sense, considering the Reds’ domestic season is more or less over already, having not just been knocked out of the water by Manchester City in the Premier League title race, but also knocked out of the two cup competitions.
Jurgen Klopp’s men can still finish the season on a high by winning the Champions League, but they will first have to overcome the hurdle that is Real Madrid in the quarter-finals – no easy feat, given that Zinedine Zidane will also be desperate to save his team’s season via the competition.
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So, while other teams are still living in 2021, Liverpool are looking ahead to next season to mount a challenge for the Premier League title.
And the player they have identified who could be key to that is centre-back Ibrahima Konate.
According to The Athletic, Liverpool are on the verge of finalising a deal to bring Konate from RB Leipzig to Anfield. The 21-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best young defenders in world football at the moment, having impressed in the centre of defence with compatriot Dayot Upamecano.
In a bid to prise Konate to England before his stock in the Bundesliga gets too high – which in Germany, means an inevitable move to Bayern Munich – Liverpool are prepared to meet his reported €40 million (S$63 million) release clause.
Strong, quick, and an excellent reader of the game, Konate will be a welcome addition to Liverpool backline which has this season been decimated by injuries.
The team’s lack of defensive options has been largely blamed for Liverpool’s failure to mount a serious title defence this season, and Liverpool fans will be pleased to see that a replacement for the self-proclaimed ‘best defender in the world’ Dejan Lovren has finally been found.
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At the very least, it will ease their worry that Liverpool might actually make Ozan Kabak’s move a permanent one.