Liverpool: Klopp gives team news ahead of Aston Villa clash
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Liverpool are reportedly ‘in the final stages’ of signing Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig after news emerged that the defender’s release clause is lower than first thought. Konate is believed to have been identified as the solution to the Premier League side’s defensive problems after Jurgen Klopp lost all his senior centre-backs to long-term injuries this season.
It was reported on Friday that Liverpool had agreed personal terms with the 21-year-old, who is being viewed as the ideal partner for Virgil van Dijk when the Reds colossus returns from injury.
Klopp’s side missed out on Konate’s team-mate Dayot Upamecano, who will join Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
And doubts remain over Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak, who both joined on the final day of the January transfer window – the latter on loan.
Liverpool are now said to be running a fine toothcomb over Konate’s stats as they look to tie up the transfer for around £28.5million rather than the £35m that was previously reported.
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That’s according to Bild’s head of football Christian Falk.
“He doesn’t have seem to be that expensive after all,” he said, cited by Sport Witness.
“It’s quiet, so they’re really in the final stages of the transfer now; I heard they’re going through, and they’re just going through all the data again as he’s had a few injuries.
“The nice news is they’ve always talked about €40m [£35m] plus, but he’s supposed to cost, according to our information, the transfer fee is €32.5m- €34m [£28-£29m].
“That means in these times, every million that’s cheaper makes the transfer easier, of course.”
Anfield Central this week claimed Liverpool had moved swiftly and agreed personal terms with Konate ahead of a summer transfer.
The source claimed the Reds had offered the France under-21 star around £85,000 per week, which would be an estimated 150 per cent increase on his current wage at Leipzig.
There are concerns about the 21-year-old’s injury history, with the defender having suffered muscle and ankle injuries this season.
He is also yet to become a regular starter under Julian Naglesmann, making only four starts in the Bundesliga this season, with his last coming in mid-December.
Though he did impress in those games, helping to keep two clean sheets, an ankle injury has seen the Frenchman limited to just four substitute appearances since starting against Hoffenheim.
But the Reds are believed to feel that his potential to become one of the best defenders in Europe outweighs those injury risks.
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The transfer appeared to move a step closer when Leipzig announced on Friday that they had secured Willi Orban’s long-term future with a new contract.
Orban has been the preferred option recently to play alongside Upamecano.
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