Liverpool’s five-man defender transfer shortlist – with Konate leading way

Liverpool have drawn up a shortlist of five defenders to bolster their back line this summer.

And RB Leipzig's Ibrahima Konate is on that list as the Reds look to bring in a centre-back on a permanent deal at the end of the season.

The Reds have agreed an £18m deal with Schalke to make Ozan Kabak's loan move a permanent one in the summer if they choose.

It is understood if they opted to take up that option then Kabak would be the only centre-back signed this summer.

But Konate – who has a £34m release clause – is a real target for the Reds who could move for the French defender should Kabak not impress them enough.

The Reds may look to negotiate a lower fee if they make a move in the coming weeks.

But they may be forced into paying the full release clause as they would expect to face competition for his signature while Leipzig don't want or need to sell with Dayot Upamecano leaving for Bayern Munich.

Liverpool expect Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to be fully fit for the start of next season while they will also have Ben Davies, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams in their squad unless any are moved on.

The Reds have previously looked at Marseille centre-back Duje Caleta-Car and Brighton's Ben White.

Leicester City and Turkey defender Caglar Soyuncu has also been of interest in the past but may prove to be too expensive in the current market.

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