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Liverpool poised to complete €35m capture of Leipzig defender Konaté


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Liverpool are on the verge of completing their first piece of summer business, with the signing of Ibrahima Konaté. 

The move could mean that Ozan Kabak does not see his loan from Schalke made permanent.

RB Leipzig defender Konaté has been a long-term target of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The 21-year old had - according to journalist Fabrizio Romano - agreed personal terms with the Anfield club in April.

Liverpool will have their spending power in this season's transfer market galvanised by their last-day qualification for next season's Champions League.

Konaté has a release clause of €35million, which is set to be paid in the coming days.

Kabak was signed on deadline day in January, along with Ben Davies from Preston North End.

The 21-year old Turkey international made 13 appearances for the Reds, but had his season ended by injury.

According to reports, Liverpool's willingness to take up their option to make his deal permanent appears "unlikely".

Liverpool are in need of defensive back-up for next season, given how heavily they had to reply on the likes of Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips in the season just ended. Their upturn in form towards the end of the season also coincided with Fabinho's move forward from defence to midfield.

"I'm not even looking at that", Konaté said of the links to last season's Premier League champions in March.

"I woke up, saw my phone ringing all over the place and I just wanted to say, 'Hey I'm tired, I played yesterday, leave me alone'", he laughed.

Konaté added, "There have been rumours with so many clubs... You shouldn't focus on that. For now, I'm concentrating on the next qualifier, then I go back to my club."

The France U21 international made 14 Bundesliga appearances for Leipzig this season, adding a further six in the Champions League. He was an unused substitute in both legs of their last-16 tie with his soon-to-be employers in the spring.

Stephen Kenny aims dig at predecessors’ squad management


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Ben Davies Ibrahima Konaté Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Ozan Kabak RB Leipzig

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