Ibrahima Konate will become a Liverpool player on July 1st after the club officially confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign him.
Konate has been linked heavily with Liverpool in recent months as they look to strengthen in defence. He has risen to prominence with RB Leipzig and is a France under-21 international. A release clause in his contract made him available for an inviting fee and Liverpool have taken advantage.
It emerged earlier on Friday that the Reds had triggered his release clause and confirmation would arrive imminently. Now, that confirmation has come.
The Premier League giants have revealed that Konate has passed a medical and signed a long-term contract.
The defender told their club 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 spent four years with Leipzig but will now move to the Premier League for the first time. The 22-year-old will hope to resolve some of the defensive issues that have plagued Liverpool in recent months.
The Reds signed Ozan Kabak on loan in January to provide cover but have decided against signing him permanently, instead swooping for Konate.
Klopp explains Konate addition
Manager Jurgen Klopp is excited to be able to work with long-term target Konate.
He added: “I’m really pleased we’ve been able to add a player of Ibrahima’s quality to our squad and he is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux.
“After the problems we had with injuries in the centre-half position last season, there’s no doubt it was clear it was an area of the team we needed to strengthen. But I first have to say that the job Nat [Phillips], Rhys [Williams] and Ozan did was incredible. Unbelievable really.
“In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.
“He comes to us after playing more than 90 times for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and European football. I’m sure that number would have been more but for some injury. But even so that means he already has experience of what it takes to compete in two outstandingly difficult competitions.
“He also played for a team in the Champions League in high-pressure matches, who have a similar football vision to ourselves.
“I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away. But he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential. I know that’s something he is eager to work on with us to become an even better player.
“For me, that’s really exciting because I have seen how good he is already and I’m looking forward to working with him when he joins up with us in pre-season.”