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Konate reacts as Liverpool confirm agreement to sign Leipzig defender

Liverpool have confirmed that the club have agreed a deal to sign RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate on a ‘long-term contract’.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have moved swiftly to conduct early transfer business with the capture of the France U21 international, having agreed to activate the centre-back’s release clause in his contract at the Red Bull Arena.

 

The 22-year-old had been strongly linked with a move to Merseyside in recent months as the Reds look to bolster their defensive options, having seen their Premier League title defence collapse amid a succession of injuries at centre-back.

Konate has spent four seasons with Leipzig and has developed a reputation as a highly-promising young talent, with Liverpool confirming the youngster has agreed a ‘long-term contract’  and passed a medical, his signing confirmed subject to international clearance and a work permit being granted.

Speaking on his signing, the defender told the club’s official website: “I’m really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool.

“It’s a really exciting moment for me and my family and I am really looking forward to meeting my new teammates, the staff and getting started on this new chapter.

“Right now, my focus is on the U21 European Championships with France, but after this competition I know I will be joining one of the best teams in the world and that gives me a great feeling.

“I have worked very hard for many years to get to this point, but I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at RB Leipzig and all the people I worked with there – the coaches, my teammates, the staff and especially the fans.

“Your support helped me grow up during my time there and become not only a better player, but a better man and I will always be grateful for it.”

Konate will join Liverpool’s centre-back options for next season alongside Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, with the club having decided not to turn Ozan Kabak’s loan move from Schalke into a permanent deal.

Nathaniel Phillips’ future remains uncertain despite his role in the club’s Champions League qualification, whilst winter window signing Ben Davies looks set to leave after failing to make a senior appearance.

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