Liverpool set to pay £35m release clause for RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate as Jurgen Klopp looks to boost defensive options

Liverpool are closing in on signing Ibrahima Konate by activating his £35million release clause.

The RB Leipzig defender is regarded as one of Europe’s most promising defenders having impressed in Germany over the past four years and the Premier League side will pay the fee up front.

Konate is expected to be Liverpool’s first signing of the summer

Konate, 22, will boost Jurgen Klopp’s depleted defence with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip still sidelined with injury this season.

On Tuesday, talkSPORT’s Jim White revealed Liverpool were closing in on Konate.

He said: “Ibrahima Konate, the centre-back at RB Leipzig, is getting very close now.

“Terms have been agreed, Liverpool are set to pay the release clause.

“We will watch for that name coming through the door at Anfield very sooner or later.”

With Konate’s expected arrival at Anfield, Liverpool chiefs have reportedly decided against turning Ozan Kabak’s loan into a permanent £18m transfer.

Kabak’s Liverpool career appears to be over

The Turkey defender made 14 appearances for the Reds after arriving on loan from Schalke in the January transfer window.

It means Klopp could have Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip to choose from during the 2021/22 season.

The futures of Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips, two defenders who played vital roles in the Reds’ run-in to secure Champions League football this season, remain uncertain.

Konate’s impending exit from RB Leipzig is another blow for the German club, who have already lost Dayot Upamecano to Bayern Munich.

Upamecano will join the Bundesliga champions on July 1 after they met his £37m buyout clause.