Just two months ago Ibrahima Konate was an unrealistic target due to the price tag slapped on his head. Now he’s on the verge of signing for Liverpool for just £34m
Liverpool are reportedly in the advanced stages of a deal to bring Ibrahima Konate to Anfield.
The transfer has apparently come out of nowhere and suggests Liverpool will not be dawdling when it comes to strengthening this summer ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Konate has been on Jurgen Klopp’s radar for some time.
And the German was desperate to sign him in January after losing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to injury.
Liverpool enquired about the defender’s availability but were priced out of a deal for the young centre-back.
“You know the situation with centre-halves out there,” said Klopp in January, after missing out on signing Konate.
Liverpool are reportedly in the advanced stages of a deal to bring Ibrahima Konate to Anfield (Image: Getty Images)
“You know the clubs where the centre-halves are playing, because everyone is talking about them. Tell me if one of these clubs needs the money and needs to sell a player?
“And if they need money then they want crazy money.
“I am not sure there is an £80million centre-back available at the moment and a club thinks ‘We can get £80m for him so we will sell him.’
“The teams would not sell this calibre of player now.”
Jurgen Klopps speaks with Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards
Two months on and Liverpool have all but wrapped up a deal for Konate, according to The Athletic.
The Premier League champions are expected to pay the 21-year-old’s release clause, which is thought to be around £34million.
Liverpool’s sporting director and transfer guru Michael Edwards has close relations with Leipzig and the Red Bull group.
It has enabled Liverpool to get deals done quickly for the likes of Naby Keita and former Salzburg star Takumi Minamino, with the Reds learning of the Japan international’s release clause before rival suitors.
Klopp is a long-term admirer of the French centre-back (Image: PA)
Whether or not Konate’s release clause is one that will only come into play in the summer or if it’s something Liverpool have discovered recently is not yet known.
But Liverpool moving to the front of the queue to sign the centre-back, and being on the verge of triggering his release clause, is no coincidence.
French defender Konate, 21, is now an affordable option, and it seems Edwards’ contacts and negotiation skills are the reason for this.