RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate is at the top of Liverpool's list of targets heading into the transfer window this summer.
What's the latest?
TEAMtalk has reported that Liverpool are on the hunt for a central defender in the summer window and Leipzig man Konate is apparently at the top of their wishlist.
The Leipzig hierarchy are reportedly keen to keep the Frenchman at the club, however, this may prove to be difficult for Julian Nagelsmann's side.
Konate has a £34m release clause in his contract which the Reds will be looking to trigger in the summer.
Alongside Konate, the Merseyside club also apparently want to turn Ozan Kabak's loan move into a permanent deal for £18m, as per the report.
With an array of central defenders injured at the club, Kabak joined Liverpool as an emergency replacement in January.
However, Jurgen Klopp's side may have to let go of a number of Liverpool players in order to finance the two deals. The likes of Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita, and Divock Origi could all potentially depart the club.
How has Konate performed this season?
It's difficult to gauge how the young Frenchman has performed this season due to his lack of minutes on the pitch.
This year, Konate has played just 508 minutes of Bundesliga football accompanied by six outings in the Champions League, as per WhoScored. The reason he hasn't featured is due to his horrific luck with injuries.
According to Transfermarkt, the 21-year-old has already missed 15 games this season with an ankle injury and a torn muscle fibre. It's also important to note that Konate missed 30 games through injury during the 2019/20 season.
Since his return from his most recent injury, the defender has made four appearances and played the entire fixture during Leipzig's last outing.
Nagelsmann's side comfortably defeated Weder Bremen 4-1 and Konate managed to earn a WhoScored rating of 7.3.
How has Kabak performed for Liverpool?
When Liverpool signed the Turkish defender, Kabak was certainly thrown into the deep end. However, the Schalke defender has largely proved his worth in the Premier League.
Who will get the nod from Klopp?
It's going to take somebody pretty special to knock Virgil van Dijk off of his throne at Anfield. Therefore, when he returns from injury, the Dutchman will likely stroll back into the first team.
However, the spot that is up for grabs is as his centre-back partner. Joe Gomez will face fierce competition if both Konate and Kabak are at Anfield next season.
Kabak already possesses experience in the first team and Klopp may initially favour the Turkish international who provided the Reds with some help in their hour in need.
However, the German manager surely has a plan for Konate if he's Liverpool's top target, and may look to quickly integrate him into the starting XI.News Now - Sport News