Compiled By Markson Omagor
Ibrahima Konate has reportedly undertaken a number of medical checks ahead of finalising a switch to Liverpool.
Sportsmail reported on Monday that the Reds are looking to wrap up a £33million deal for the talented RB Leipzig defender.
The Bundesliga side pushed back on talk that a deal was done but a report by RMC Sport revealed that the defender has taken a step closer to Anfield following some medical examinations.
Jurgen Klopp has been dealing with a crisis at the back all season, with injuries to both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
And the Reds are looking to get a deal done for highly-rated Konate – who is currently with France at the Under-21 European Championship – ahead of the summer transfer window.
With Leipzig not in a position of having to sell, any buyer will have to pay Konate’s release clause of £33m (€40m), rather than trying to negotiate a lower asking price.
Leipzig, who sit second and four points off Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, are understood to be aware of interest in their centre-back but if Liverpool choose to pay his release clause, no talks would be needed.
That said, Liverpool and Leipzig, who recently met in the Champions League, have a good relationship, dating back to when they did business for Naby Keita.
Konate said his phone was ‘ringing all over the place’ as news of Liverpool’s £33m move for him emerged.
He told L’Equipe: ‘I woke up, I saw my phone ringing all over the place. I just wanted to tell them, “Hey, I played yesterday, I’m tired, leave me alone”.
‘Frankly, I don’t even watch this. We can’t focus on that, there are the Euros and then my return to the club. You have to focus on that and not on the external things.’
Despite RMC Sport reporting that a switch to Liverpool had ‘advanced’ following some medical checks, RB Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche insisted a switch to Anfield is ‘not an option’.
‘I think that this is not an option for Ibu,’ Krosche said of Konate, who has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season and has a contract at Leipzig until June 2023.