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DEAL AGREED: Liverpool sign Ibrahima Konate

DEAL AGREED: Liverpool sign Ibrahima Konate

 

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for a fee believed to be around £36million.

The deal is subject to international clearance and a work permit process but the Reds are confident Konate will be successful in his application.

Ibrahima Konate made just under 100 appearances for RB Leipzig before joining Liverpool.

Currently, he is with the French U21 squad for the European Championships.

He came through at Sochaux in France before his move to Germany.

Konate has passed a medical and agreed a long-term contract at Anfield, which begins at the start of July.

 

Happy to be joining "massive club" Liverpool - Konate

 

On his move to Liverpool, Ibrahima Konate said he was looking forward to getting started on this new chapter of his career.

He told the club's website: "I’m really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool.

"It’s a really exciting moment for me and my family and I am really looking forward to meeting my new teammates, the staff and getting started on this new chapter.

"Right now, my focus is on the U21 European Championships with France, but after this competition I know I will be joining one of the best teams in the world and that gives me a great feeling.

"I have worked very hard for many years to get to this point, but I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at RB Leipzig and all the people I worked with there – the coaches, my teammates, the staff and especially the fans.

"Your support helped me grow up during my time there and become not only a better player, but a better man and I will always be grateful for it."

The Reds have got a vital piece on transfer business done early, which is exactly how they like to operate.

There'll likely be more movement at Anfield as Jürgen Klopp looks to put his side back at the top of the Premier League table.

Rumours suggest a forward may be on the agenda, with many current players earmarked to be leaving Merseyside this summer.

Their departure may generate extra funds for Klopp to improve the squad.

 

Had to strengthen at centre half - Klopp on Liverpool signing Ibrahima Konate

 

On the signing, Klopp told the Reds website he had to sign a centre-half due to the injury problems last season.

“I’m really pleased we’ve been able to add a player of Ibrahima’s quality to our squad and he is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.

“After the problems we had with injuries in the centre-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen – but I first have to say that the job Nat, Rhys and Ozan did was incredible. Unbelievable really.

“In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.

“He comes to us after playing more than 90 times for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and European football.

"I’m sure that number would have been more but for some injury, but even so that means he already has experience of what it takes to compete in two outstandingly difficult competitions.

“He also played for a team in the Champions League in high-pressure matches, who have a similar football vision to ourselves.

“I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away, but he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential.

"I know that’s something he is eager to work on with us to become an even better player.

“For me, that’s really exciting because I have seen how good he is already and I’m looking forward to working with him when he joins up with us in pre-season.”

 

The future of Liverpool's defence

 

This signing likely means Ozan Kabak's time at Anfield is over. The futures of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are also unclear.

With Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all expected to be fit next season, there may not be room for them.

Those three plus Ibrahima Konate will likely be the four centre backs Liverpool choose to go with.

It could potentially be five if they decide to keep one of the three who stood in during the last campaign.

With van Dijk and Matip both the better part of 30, Konate provides Liverpool with more than just quality.

At just 22, Klopp admitted above his potential was what attracted the Reds boss to the French U21 international.

It could be him and Joe Gomez as the centre half pairing that see the Reds through the rest of the decade.

Fabinho's quality in central midfield has made Klopp think again about using him as cover at centre back.

With the Brazilian back in his natural position, the Reds have returned to form which saw them qualify for the Champions League.

That financial boost almost certainly helped Liverpool sign Ibrahima Konate as early as this in the summer.


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