Liverpool

Liverpool are set to complete the signing of RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate this week, Football Insider understands.

The Merseyside giants have been strongly linked over the last two months with the French centre-back, 21, who has a £30.5m release clause in his contract with the Bundesliga outfit.

A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Liverpool have triggered the release clause and have held extensive negotiations with Leipzig over the structure of payments.

Konate has already agreed personal terms with Liverpool on a five-year contract and completed the first part of a medical.

More medical tests are set to be completed but the deal is now in its final stages and all parties believe it should be signed off by the end of the week.

The France Under-21 international has been targeted to strengthen a Liverpool back line that has been severely weakened over the last six months by serious injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Liverpool finished the season strongly to clinch third place and a spot in next season’s Champions League.

But they were troubled for months at the back, with midfield duo Fabinho and Jordan Henderson regularly filling in before Jurgen Klopp settled on the inexperienced trio of Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams and loanee Ozan Kabak.

Konate will bring cover and competition at the start of next season, with no guarantees Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip will be fit to return.

Nonetheless, the Frenchman has a chequered injury history of his own and has had poor unavailability over the last two seasons.

The defender has made just eight Bundesliga starts among 21 appearances this season.

In other news, Liverpool have been backed to sign “amazing” Wijnaldum replacement as intriguing image emerges that could pave the way to blockbuster deal.