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Liverpool Closing In On Signing Ibrahima Konate From RB Leipzig

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Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign central defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

The Reds have held talks with the 22-year-old, who reportedly has a buyout clause of about £35m in his contract with the German club.

Konate is part of France’s squad for the Uefa European Under-21 Championship, which starts on Monday.

The move means Liverpool are set to reject the chance to sign defender Ozan Kabak on a permanent basis.

The Reds had an option to sign 21-year-old Kabak for £18m with add-ons as part of the loan deal which brought him to Anfield in January.

They have told the Turkey international of their intentions and he is speaking to other clubs.

Kabak made 13 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side but has been sidelined since his last outing in a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on 24 April.

Konate made 21 appearances for RB Leipzig this season as they finished second in the Bundesliga.

His arrival would help bolster a backline which suffered the long term injury absences of centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip during the season.

Midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were used as makeshift central defenders, while Liverpool ended the campaign with a centre-back pairing of Nathaniel Phillips, 24, and Rhys Williams, 20.

Liverpool secured a Champions League spot with a win over Crystal Palace on the final day of the season as they finished third in the Premier League.

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