Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, however, he would be more likely to join in the summer when his release clause becomes active.
According to journalist Christian Falk on Twitter, the French defender has a €40 million (£36 million) release clause in the summer, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs all interested in the 21-year-old.
However, the French U21 international is perhaps unlikely to be the man to solve the Reds’ current defensive woes before Monday’s deadline, with Falk only suggesting he would be an option for the summer rather than imminently.
In addition, when you consider that Leipzig face Liverpool in the Champions League next month, they are unlikely to want to sell before the end of the season, particularly if it were to strengthen their upcoming opponents.
That being said, Konate could still be an excellent addition to Liverpool’s side in the summer, and could even prove to be Klopp’s next Virgil van Dijk.
Similarly to the Dutch international, the young 6 ft 4 Leipzig star’s strengths include his ability in his air, as well as his threat from set-pieces, with his six foot four frame meaning that he is always likely to be a danger from corners and free-kicks.
Unfortunately for the young defender, injuries have kept him out for much of the last two seasons, but he showed his class in the 2018/19 season for Leipzig, averaging a superb 7.19 rating across his 28 appearances in the Bundesliga.
That season saw him average 3.6 aerials won, as well as 1.6 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 4.3 clearances per game which are superb statistics when you consider what Van Dijk managed last season.
The former Southampton man outscored Konate in terms of aerials won – averaging 5 per game – but only registered 0.6 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 4.3 clearances per game in the Premier League, per WhoScored.
Therefore, it seems clear that the two defenders are very similar in their style of play, and have averaged the same sort of numbers when both regulars in their sides, so the 21-year-old could be well worth his £36 million price tag in the summer.
It is just a shame for Klopp that he is unlikely to arrive this month, as he could’ve proved to be the ideal man to amend their issues at the back this season.