Liverpool have confirmed that they have signed 22-year-old defender Ibrahima Konate from German club RB Leipzig for a fee of £36million.
The deal had been in the works for a few weeks with journalists David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano among the first to break the news and finally the club themselves have announced the signing.
Standing at six foot and four inches Konate is a mountain at the back and there is no surprise that he is the first signing of the transfer window due to the extreme injury crisis that Liverpool have had in the past 10 months.
He is a physical, tall, rapid ball-playing centre-half so the Frenchman suits Liverpool down to the ground.
The only real issue though is that he has had some injury issues in the past having only played 13 games in the 20/21 campaign, however Liverpool would not have bought him if they were predicted to be a problem in the future.
On the official club announcement they said that Konate has agreed a long-term contract from July 1, subject to international clearance and a successful work permit.
The long-term contract is until 2026 and Konate spoke to the club website about how excited he is to be signing for the six-time European champions.
“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” said Konate.
Due to the signing of Konate Ozan Kabak will not be signed permanently and will be heading back to Schalke before he is likely sold with Leicester City and Konate’s now former club RB Leipzig interested.
The deal will also likely leave Nat Phillips’ Liverpool future in doubt but there has been no final decision made on Phillips yet with Ben Davies looking set to be the fifth choice centre back as it stands.
Jurgen Klopp had a lot to say about the quality of Konate as he said: “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.
“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.”
It shall be interesting to see whether Konate will be first choice straight-away alongside Virgil Van Dijk but one thing that is for sure is the quality at centre-back for Liverpool when everyone is fit has gone up another level.