Jurgen Klopp is absolutely certain to bring in a new central defender to Liverpool this summer, pundit Jamie Redknapp has proclaimed.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has reportedly made adding to his defence a priority after this season. Indeed the wheels are very much in motion to secure a £35.4m signing of Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate. Liverpool began the campaign with three senior centre-halves following Dejan Lovren’s exit. However, the trio have suffered long-term injuries, leading to January deadline day swoops for Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies.
The impending arrival of Konate was expected to spell bad news for Davies – yet to kick a ball for the Reds – and potentially Kabak. Indeed, while Kabak has formed a decent centre-back pairing with Nat Phillips, he was looking like the real victim of Konate’s arrival.
While uncertain who they will sign, Redknapp says he knows his old club will bolster their defence.
“I think certainly defensively they’ll be looking for a centre-back,” Redknapp told the Sky Sports Pitch to Post podcast. “I think they did the right thing not going out and spending money on someone who they didn’t know was going to be a complete success,” Redknapp added on Kabak.
“When you’ve got the likes of [Joe] Gomez and [Virgil] van Dijk, you have to be assured that they’re going to be a top players. Once you get through this period and into the summer, that will be your partnership again.
“Liverpool jusy may need someone who’s just going to take the pressure off them if there’s another injury to one of them. But that’s an area I’m sure they’re going to address.”
Kabak may sign over Konate for Liverpool
Konate, it’s reported, has passed some of his medical already. However, his questionable injury record this season may yet put the brakes on any deal.
To that end, Leipzig director Markus Krosche says Konate had “no reason to make the move”.
“I think that this [Liverpool transfer] is not an option for Ibu,” Krosche said.
“He has a long contract with us. He knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.
“Ibrahima was unlucky last year as he had a long-term injury but this year he is developing well. He’s an extremely important player that has a lot of potential.
“We want to help him to develop further, and we play in Europe and have a very good team. I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.”