Liverpool have been dealt a potential blow in their pursuit of RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, with The Telegraph reporting that his release clause is significantly higher than originally anticipated.
What's the latest on Konate?
It was recently reported that Konate's buyout clause was somewhere in the region of €32.5-€34m (£28.2-£29.5m).
However, new information has emerged, suggesting that Liverpool will have to pay £40m to land Konate.
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Could this be a problem for Liverpool?
The club recently announced that they suffered pre-tax losses of £46m for the financial year ending last May. Their overall revenue was down £43m on the previous year as well, with their finances appearing to have been hit by the ongoing global crisis.
This indicates that the Reds are not in the healthiest position at the moment, and their situation is unlikely to be helped if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League. Jurgen Klopp's men are currently four points outside the top four with five matches to play.
Is signing Konate a risk?
Liverpool will now have to weigh this up given the apparent hike in Konate's value. In some ways, it would be a gamble for the Merseyside club.
In his four years at Leipzig, Konate has battled with numerous fitness issues which have reduced his playing time. Last season, he managed to feature in just eight league matches, and this year has not been much better, with the youngster only appearing in 13 Bundesliga games to date.
Given the injuries that Liverpool have had to deal with in defence in 2020/21, they need someone to come in and be a reliable presence at the back. It is debatable as to whether Konate can be that player based on his injury history.
Will Edwards take the gamble?
Having said all this, Konate is a player with huge potential, who does not turn 22 until next month.
When he did manage to play 28 league games in 2018/19, Leipzig had the best defensive record in the division, conceding just 29 goals all season. This highlights the influence that Konate can have when he is fully fit.
It was revealed earlier this month that he is Liverpool's top transfer target this summer, and it seems unlikely that the club will be completely put off signing him after this latest development.
During Michael Edwards' tenure as sporting director, Liverpool have not been afraid to pay hefty fees for players, with Virgil van Dijk costing £75m and Alisson setting the club back a further £67m. They have both made major impacts to help the club win the Champions League and Premier League in recent years.
Konate's price-tag should not be out of Liverpool's range, meaning that Edwards ought to still give the move the green light in the coming weeks.News Now - Sport News