Liverpool sign Konate
Liverpool have, on Friday afternoon, confirmed the signing of Ibrahima Konate. The deal is believed to be setting Liverpool back £36m.
Accord Convenu ✅
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 28, 2021
The Frenchman had previously been plying his trade with RB Leipzig in the German top-flight where he had formed a solid partnership with now Bayern Munich star, Dayot Upamecano.
At 6ft 4, Konate is a fast, powerful central defender who is great with his feet and should prove a solid partner for Virgil van Dijk when he returns to full fitness.
What Klopp & Konate said about the move
On signing for Liverpool Konate had this to say:
“I’m really happy to be joining such a massive club like Liverpool.
“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.
“Right now, my focus is on the U21 European Championships with France, but after this competition I know I will be joining one of the best teams in the world and that gives me a great feeling.
“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.
“Your support helped me grow up during my time there and become not only a better player, but a better man and I will always be grateful for it.”
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp had this to say after Liverpool landed Konate:
“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 told Liverpoolfc.com.
“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 – but I first have to say that the job Nat, Rhys and Ozan did was incredible. Unbelievable really.
“In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.
“He comes to us after playing more than 90 times for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and European football. I’m sure that number would have been more but for some injury, but even so that means he already has experience of what it takes to compete in two outstandingly difficult competitions.
“He also played for a team in the Champions League in high-pressure matches, who have a similar football vision to ourselves.
“I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away, but he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential. I know that’s something he is eager to work on with us to become an even better player.
“For me, that’s really exciting because I have seen how good he is already and I’m looking forward to working with him when he joins up with us in pre-season.”
Kabak not staying at Liverpool
Elsewhere on the Liverpool front, Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Ozan Kabak will return to Schalke with the Reds opting against making his move permanent:
Official. Ibrahima Konaté joins Liverpool on a permanent deal from RB Leipzig. Here we go since April – now confirmed. 🚨🔴 #LFC
Liverpool have also decided that Ozan Kabak will come back to Schalke – option to buy will NOT be triggered. https://t.co/j4codIsBnD
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 28, 2021