Liverpool secured Champions League participation on the final day of the Premier League season which means they can now activate the €41.5 million release clause in the former Sochaux player’s contract. The club will have to pay the release clause in one installment.
Konate, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Tuesday, was identified a long time ago when he was still in France by the Liverpool scouting department who then followed his progress.
Despite a hip injury which kept him out for a few months last season, the Parisian showed great potential.
He is tall and strong with great pace and has improved a lot with the ball and his tactical awareness while working with Julian Nagelsmann at Leipzig. Jurgen Klopp is a huge fan and wants him to partner Virgil van Dijk next season.
Kounde’s arrival means that Ozan Kabak will not stay at the club, sources have told ESPN. Liverpool won’t trigger the option to make his loan from Schalke permanent but he could join Leipzig to replace Konate and Dayot Upamecano who signed for Bayern Munich.
The future of Nathaniel Phillips, who is under contract until June 2023, will have to be decided but it is doubtful that he would want to pushed down the pecking order once Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip are back from injury and the Konate deal is completed.
Sources have also told ESPN that Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for Phillips this summer while Rhys Williams could leave on loan.