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Liverpool ‘in talks’ with RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate as release clause emerges

Liverpool are ready to bring in France youth international centre-back Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig as Jurgen Klopp tries to ease pressure on Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

The 21-year-old, who has made 89 appearances across the last four seasons, has proved to be a reliable option when called upon under Julian Nagelsmann so far this season.

Konate has also made 33 appearances for various French youth sides, and could be brought in to challenge Klopp’s key pairing of Van Dijk and Gomez who are returning from injury.

It has now been reported that the Reds are trying to negotiate a lower fee rather than pay his release clause – but that Leipzig are under no immediate pressure to sell.

Ibrahima Konate has also made 33 appearances for various French youth sides

The Athletic have reported the news of Liverpool’s interest, adding that the buy-out clause of around £34m could allow them to skip to negotiations with the player.

Liverpool are said to have made significant progress a deal although there is still work to be done, with Joel Matip another senior defender currently on the sidelines.

Their worries at the back led to January deals for Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak, the latter of which coming in on loan with an option to buy of around £18m.

The report adds that although Liverpool were heavily linked to fellow Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, his plans to join Bayern Munich have made Konate a primary target.

Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on March 20, 2021 in Kirkby, England.
Jurgen Klopp has been keen to ease pressure on Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez

That news comes after Matthijs de Ligt shared an update over the plans of Van Dijk in his return from injury, with the upcoming European Championships a target.

“He made a very fresh impression, was free in his head,” he told De Telegraaf following a chat on the phone with the Liverpool defender this week.

“I don’t know how he is physically, because I don’t think he wants to put too much pressure on himself.

Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig watches the warm up ahead of the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Fortuna Duesseldorf at Red Bull Arena on June 17, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany.
Liverpool could secure the first major signing of the transfer window in Ibrahima Konate

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“He looks at it from day to day and will see how it is at the European Championships.

“It is important that he does not feel the pressure from us as a team or as a country to be there.

“That is up to him. If he doesn’t make it, others will have to step up.”

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