The Reds have been in talks with the RB Leipzig defender since April, and a deal looks set to be completed in the coming weeks.
Liverpool Edge Closer to Signing Ibrahima Konate
Liverpool have held a long-term interest in the French defender, with Konate one of their ‘top’ defensive targets according to Romano.
Jurgen Klopp’s side has visibly struggled at the heart of defence this season. Although Nat Phillips has stepped up remarkably well and Ozan Kabak has impressed since joining in January, the absence of Virgil van Dijk has caused Liverpool to suffer this season.
The Dutchman has been out injured since October, and a date for him to return is yet to be distinguished. However, he has ruled himself out of playing at the Euros this summer, meaning that it could be fit for the start of next season.
As a result, the Reds are looking to add more quality to their ranks, and Konate is one of their top targets.
The Frenchman has made 21 appearances so far this season for Leipzig in what has been an injury-hit campaign. A muscle injury from the 2019/20 campaign has spanned into this season, meaning that he has missed 15 games for the German side this year.
However, despite his injury record, he has remained one of Klopp’s main targets. According to Romano, Konate will sign a five-year deal before making the move to Anfield.
How Will He Fit in at Liverpool?
Konate is a modern centre-back – he is well-rounded in his traditional defensive duties, but he is also excellent at bringing the ball out from the back.
In his 21 appearances so far this season, the 21-year-old has recorded a pass completion rate of 84.9%, the fifth-best among his Leipzig teammates. Konate is part of a side that looks to play the ball out from the back and press in phases, similar to the style implemented by Klopp at Liverpool. Three of the four positions above Konate in the pass completion table are occupied by his teammates.
The French U21 international will provide added depth and quality to the defence, should his move be completed. Although they are running on a depleted workforce at the heart of defence, Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all expected to be back for the start of next season.
As a result, Konate may have to bide his time when he eventually makes the move to Anfield. He may be considered as one for the future, and the heir to the Virgil van Dijk throne.
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