Liverpool agrees to sign Leipzig defender Konate

Frenchman Konate, 22, will join the Anfield club on July 1 once his work permit application is approved and medicals are completed.

Konate will be involved with the France team in the knockout stages of the Under-21 European Championship which begin on May 31.   -  REUTERS

Liverpool has reached an agreement to sign centre-back Ibrahima Konate from German side RB Leipzig, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Frenchman Konate, 22, will join the Anfield club on July 1 once his work permit application is approved and medicals are completed.

Financial details of the transfer were not revealed but British media reported Liverpool triggered a 41 million euros ($49.82 million) release clause in his contract.

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Konate had a contract until June 2023 with Leipzig.

"I'm really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool," Konate said in a statement.

"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.

"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."

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Konate will be involved with the France team in the knockout stages of the Under-21 European Championship which begin on May 31.

Liverpool struggled to defend its Premier League title last season after an injury crisis in defence when it lost Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to season-ending injuries early in the campaign.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was forced to play midfielders such as Fabinho in defence and inexperienced defenders Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak were signed in the winter transfer window to try to plug the gaps.

"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," Klopp said.

"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."

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