Premier League • England

Konate makes Liverpool promise after revealing how Klopp engineered transfer

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate stood next to manager Jurgen Klopp 2021

Ibrahima Konate described Liverpool as a “mythical” club when making a promise their fans will love, and revealed the lengths Jurgen Klopp went to to get the transfer over the line.

After surrendering their Premier League crown in meek fashion last season, many expected Liverpool to splash the cash last summer. However, only the lone figure of Konate arrived as Liverpool strived to ensure they would not be caught short at centre-half again.

The Frenchman, 22, was signed in a position of strength. With Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez already established and back from injuries, the jury was out on how much Konate would play.

Nonetheless, his early signs in limited appearances have been encouraging. And at £36m, his transfer will likely look a bargain in the years to come. And what’s more, the player’s attitude appears to be spot on too.

In a recent interview with French TV station Canal+ (via Sport Witness), Konate promised he’ll do “everything to earn his spot”. He also acknowledged he may have to bide his team for an extended run in the team, indicating he has already adapted to his initial role as a squad player well.

“I told myself that if I come to Liverpool, yes it’s another level, but I trust my abilities,” said Konate. “So I’m going to do everything to earn my spot, whether it be short-term or long-term”.

Konate also spoke about the £36m transfer that brought him to Anfield from RB Leipzig. In doing so, he outlined the role Klopp played and labelled Liverpool a “mythical” club.

“When you arrive in such a club, you do so with a bit of apprehension,” he admitted.

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“But [it helps] if there’s a club ready to put such an amount on you, and the manager is talking to you, making you understand he wants you.

“Jürgen Klopp is, I think, one of the best managers in the world. We spoke a lot on the phone. I asked him personal questions, he did too.”

“What I really felt was a trust, and I felt this club was really a mythical club, different from the others. I felt myself being here even before I’d signed. So all this is why I took the decision to come to this club.”

Liverpool target on Real Madrid’s January exodus list

Meanwhile, Real Madrid are prepared to axe six first-team stars in January to bring their £92m wage bill under control. Transfer targets of Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Leeds have all been named in the report.

According to Spanish outlet AS (via the Express), the January window could be busier than ever at the Bernabeu. Their reported £92m wage bill requires immediate attention. And with hopes high of landing one or both of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe next summer, an exodus may be required.

Of most interest to Liverpool fans will be the inclusion of Luka Jovic’s name in the report.

Karim Benzema has placed an insurmountable barrier between Jovic and regular first-team football. A loan exit has been touted, with both Liverpool and Arsenal linked. 

Liverpool will be without Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in the new year when AFCON begins. Arsenal, meanwhile, could sell Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette in January to avoid losing both for free next summer.

A Jovic loan spell could be a viable stopgap for either side.

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