Liverpool to rival Barcelona with summer interest in free-transfer centre-back

Date published: Tuesday 27th April 2021 8:19 - Matthew Briggs

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Liverpool remain interested in Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi, who will leave on a free transfer this summer, claims a report.

Barcelona are also keen on the 29-year-old Algeria defender, who is understood to have a number of options available to him. AC Milan are looking for a replacement for Fikayo Tomori, who will return from his loan to Chelsea. According to El Gol Digital, Liverpool are also interested in Mandi with Jurgen Klopp very keen on the player.

Mandi has been linked with the Reds for several months. He was suggested as a target last summer when they were looking for defensive cover.

Last month, according to Estadio Deportivo, Liverpool are one of the main contenders for his signature. Alternatively, they claimed the player could stay in Seville. However, that option appears to be diminishing with Mandi chasing a long contract with a net salary of €2m per season.

Jurgen Klopp is understood to be keen to add a fourth permanent centre-back to his squad this summer. The injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have left him short this season. But the trio are expected to return in pre-season.

Klopp must decided whether to make Ozan Kabak’s loan deal permanent.

The Turkish international, 21, agreed to join on loan from Bundesliga strugglers Schalke. The prospect of an £18m permanent move at the loan stint’s conclusion was inserted into the deal.

After a shaky start, Kabak has slowly begun to win favour at Anfield.

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Konate deal on cards

A recent report pointed towards Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards greenlighting the permanent acquisition.

Meanwhile, the Reds are also understood to be closing in on a deal for Ibrahima Konate.

According to Fabrizio Romano, personal terms have been agreed and a deal is close.

Romano wrote on Twitter: “Ibrahima Konate to Liverpool, here we go soon! The deal is set to be completed, personal terms agreed on a five-years contract.

“Liverpool will pay the release clause to RB Leipzig in the next days [around €35m] in order to finalize the signing of Konate.”

Konate has been with Leipzig since 2017 and is also a France under-21 international. This season, he has only been able to start six games in the Bundesliga due to injury issues.

Kabak, Konate and Mandi will not all arrive on Merseyside, but it seems Liverpool are keeping their options open.

READ MORE: Pochettino lifts lid on Liverpool target Kylian Mbappe’s Premier League desire


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