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Liverpool's reported Ibrahima Konate plan could backfire this season

Liverpool plan to sign Ibrahima Konate, according to reports. It’s a plan that could backfire this season, however.

The Athletic claimed on Monday that Liverpool plan to sign Ibrahima Konate for next season. They’re not waiting around, however – they’re close to finalising things.

And it’s easy to see why they’d rush it through. Konate is 21 and already good enough to play at Bundesliga and Champions League. There are remarkably few centre-backs doing that at his age.

It means that not only is Konate someone able to play right away but his potential is enormous. And Liverpool must fancy their chances of getting that potential out of him.

They can get it done for £35m, too, thanks to a release clause. No complaints, then.

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But it does come with a risk. One that could backfire this season, in fact, before Konate even arrives.

No room left

Ozan Kabak arrived on loan on February 1st but Liverpool can make his move permanent for £18m. The Athletic, however, believe the Reds only want to sign one centre-back this summer.

Konate arriving would appear to rule out Kabak’s chances, then. And that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Kabak is currently playing for his Liverpool future, trying to earn that £18m deal. Is he going to be the same player if the club takes away that motivation?

Now, he’s a professional and we’d expect him to still give it his all. But there’s no disguising the fact that he’ll lose some of the motivation he has.

That’s a serious potential problem, given how reliant Liverpool currently are on Kabak. They’re hoping him and Nat Phillips push them to success this season, with the Turkey international being by far the more experienced option.

But if Kabak isn’t at his best, it could negatively affect the rest of the season, to say the least. The team have no guarantee of a top-four finish and need their centre-backs at their best.

We understand Liverpool wanting to get the Konate deal over the line but it’s unlikely to do wonders for their situation this season.

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