Liverpool have signed centre-back Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig after agreeing to pay his £36m launch clause.
Konate, 22, made 21 appearances for Leipzig this season together with eight Bundesliga begins because the membership completed second, 13 factors behind champions Bayern Munich.
He’ll start a long-term contract from July 1, topic to worldwide clearance and a profitable work allow utility course of.
“I am actually joyful to be becoming a member of such an enormous membership like Liverpool,” Konate mentioned.
“It is a actually thrilling second for me and my household and I’m actually trying ahead to assembly my new team-mates, the employees and getting began on this new chapter.”
The France U21 worldwide’s arrival strengthens Jurgen Klopp’s defensive choices, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all hoping to return for the beginning of subsequent season after lacking the vast majority of the 2020-21 marketing campaign by harm.
The accidents noticed Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at instances deployed at centre-back, whereas Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams had been the defensive pairing on the tail-end of the season as Liverpool secured a top-four place and Champions League soccer subsequent 12 months.
Liverpool had signed Ben Davies completely and Ozan Kabak on mortgage from Schalke as defensive cowl in January.
Davies is but to make his Liverpool debut, he was an unused substitute eight instances, whereas Kabak made 13 appearances however seems set to return to Germany regardless of the membership having the possibility to purchase the 21-year-old this summer season.
Konate is at present with France’s U21 squad for the UEFA European Championships.
He added: “Proper now, my focus is on the U21 European Championships with France, however after this competitors I do know I might be becoming a member of among the best groups on the earth and that provides me an ideal feeling.
“I’ve labored very onerous for a few years to get so far, however I want to say an enormous thanks to everybody at RB Leipzig and all of the individuals I labored with there – the coaches, my team-mates, the employees and particularly the followers.
“Your help helped me develop up throughout my time there and grow to be not solely a greater participant, however a greater man and I’ll all the time be pleased about it.”
At Leipzig, Bayern-bound Dayot Upamecano and Willi Orban performed a lot of the season at centre-back, whereas Konate suffered an ankle harm in December which saved him out for 2 months.
Upon his return, Konate – whose contract was as a result of expire in June 2023 – remained an unused substitute in each of Leipzig’s Champions League last-16 matches in opposition to Liverpool.
It was no secret Liverpool could be signing a brand new centre-back this summer season after the defensive harm disaster which derailed their Premier League title defence final season.
Lengthy-term knee accidents to first-choice central defenders Van Dijk and Gomez in October and November 2020 respectively meant Klopp was compelled to make use of an unimaginable 16 completely different centre-back parings within the earlier top-flight marketing campaign.
Elsewhere, regardless of the membership providing Adrian a brand new deal, the Spaniard might return house this summer season, which means Klopp may very well be on the lookout for a brand new back-up goalkeeper to Alisson if, as anticipated, promising teenager Caoimhin Kelleher is shipped out on mortgage subsequent season.
In the meantime, Gini Wijnaldum’s anticipated departure on a free to both Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich leaves a sizeable gap in midfield, one that will reportedly be crammed by Brighton’s Yves Bissouma after which there’s the difficulty of Roberto Firmino’s diminishing attacking returns.