In the midst of a dreadful season full of injuries, the reigning champions of England have begun planning for the future.
According to The Athletic, Liverpool are finalizing a £34 million deal to sign Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig during the summer transfer window.
Fail once, try again
Konaté, 21, has made a total of 89 appearances for the German side since moving there from Ligue 2 in 2017. Thus far in the current campaign, he has played only 15 games in all competitions, with injuries setting him back.
Liverpool reportedly tried signing the tall defender from France during the January transfer window, but the deal fell through due to Leipzig’s valuation. At the time, the Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said clubs that had the best defenders, including Leipzig, were asking for 'crazy money' closer to £80 million.
If the Konaté transfer goes through in the summer, it will be because the release clause in his contract has been triggered.
The tall defender is originally from France and has played for the French youth national team since the U16 level. He has played both as a central defender and right-back in his career, and is as comfortable with the ball as he is without it.
Needing help in the back
The Reds on Merseyside could use additional help in the back. After winning the league title for the first time since 1990, Liverpool has endured a difficult follow-up season, which currently sees them outside the Champions League places in seventh.
Klopp’s side has suffered injuries to key players, including the majority of their defense. Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip have all been ruled out for the season, while James Milner, Jordan Henderson, and Fabinho have spent sporadic time out of action.
The signing of Konaté would be a definitive boost, if he can stay healthy for the next season.