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Liverpool ‘agree Ibrahima Konate personal terms’ as Reds seek to wrap up £34m transfer

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Liverpool have reportedly agreed personal terms with Ibrahima Konate as they look to boost their defensive options. The RB Leipzig man is being viewed as the natural partner to Virgil van Dijk, with Jurgen Klopp needing to improve his backline after a disappointing season.

The Reds have seen their Premier League title defence collapse and are at serious risk of being knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

One of the main reasons for their problems this term has been the injury crisis in defence, which has seen van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip ruled out for the long-term.

That has seen academy products such as Nat Phillips and even midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho played in defence.

But they have continued to look vulnerable at the back and have conceded the second-most amount of goals in the top seven of the Premier League.

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The Reds did seek to boost their options with the signings of Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak in January, but they still require better quality.

That search for a better-quality centre back has brought them to Leipzig, with Konate now their primary target after Dayot Upamecano sealed a move to Bayern Munich.

Anfield Central now report that the Reds have moved swiftly and agreed personal terms with Konate ahead of a summer transfer.

They claim that Liverpool have offered the Frenchman around £85,000 per week, which would be an estimated 150 per cent increase on his current wage at Leipzig.

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While he is highly-rated, 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.

It is also thought that playing alongside van Dijk, who was arguably one of the world’s best centre-backs before rupturing his ACL in October.

With personal terms with the 21-year-old having been agreed, Anfield Central report that Liverpool are now negotiating with Leipzig over the structure of the transfer.

The Frenchman has a £34million release clause in his contract, but with the coronavirus pandemic hitting clubs hard, Liverpool are understood to be keen to not pay the entire fee upfront.

But they do want to complete the deal as soon as possible, having missed out on Upamecano before they had a chance to table an offer.

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