Liverpool are looking to get their summer transfer window kickstarted with the signing of Ibrahima Konate, but there could still be one final twist before he potentially joins. Jurgen Klopp rarely speaks publicly about transfer targets but he did break his usual protocol midway through this past season during the January window.
It was clear for all to see that Liverpool were in desperate need to sign a centre-back due to their continued injury woes at the back.
Klopp appeared to challenge the owners to bring in defensive recruits and just a few days later, Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies arrived at Anfield.
The latter never made a single appearance for Liverpool in the second half of the season, but Kabak largely impressed in his 13 appearances.
However, the 21-year-old succumbed to injury issues in the final five games of the season where he was unable to play.
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Now a decision will be made on whether Liverpool choose to pay the £18million required to sign Kabak as part of their option to buy him from Schalke.
But it appears as though the Reds have settled on a different 21-year-old from the Bundesliga.
Konate has been tipped to become one of the world’s best centre-backs having already established himself at RB Leipzig at his tender age.
The France Under-21 international has vast experience and fits the mould of Liverpool’s current centre-back options.
He is renowned as a good passer of the ball while also matching the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in other key defensive areas.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claims that personal terms with Liverpool have already been ‘agreed’ and Konate will join the Merseyside club ‘soon’.
But there may well be some trepidation from Liverpool’s side in meeting the £34m release clause.
While Konate’s talent and potential are clear to see, so is his injury record at such a young age.
Liverpool were extremely unfortunate with their bait of injuries this season in defence, particularly with Van Dijk who had barely missed a single minute of action since his move from Southampton in January 2019.
He’s also started just 23 games in that same time span, giving Liverpool little data to go on when looking at his relative form and growth.
Every big-money transfer can be seen as a gamble, but after Liverpool’s record with injuries over the past season, they will understandably be cautious on who they target.
Still, Konate is expected to be a star of the future and has all the right attributes to be a success under Klopp.
And if he can stay injury-free next season, the Frenchman may become Liverpool’s most important signing of the summer.