Liverpool confirm Ibrahima Konate transfer after paying £36m release clause

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Liverpool have confirmed the signing of RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate.

The Reds have reached an agreement with the Bundesliga clubs and are believed to have paid the £36million release clause.

The centre-back has agreed a long-term contract and will officially join his new club on July 1.

Kop boss Jurgen Klopp was keen to strengthen his defence after suffering a catastrophic injury crisis at centre-back this season.

Liverpool have pursued Konate, 22, as their priority in the position and now have their man.

And Konate can't wait to get going at Anfield, saying: “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.”

Konate had spent four seasons at RB Leipzig and earned Champions League experience during that time.

He is also a regular in the France Under-21 side, with the nation for the summer's European Championships.

Klopp added: “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.

“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.

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“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."

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