Liverpool leading the way for Kalidou Koulibaly despite Ibrahima Konate ‘pretty much’ done

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Liverpool are in pole position to sign Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, according to Italian football agent Vincenzo Morabito. Liverpool are in the market for a defender following the injury crisis suffered by Jurgen Klopp this season. RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate is also widely expected to join the Reds this summer.

Last week, European football expert Julien Laurens claimed a deal for Konate is almost done.

“Yeah pretty much [done], pretty much,” Laurens told ESPN FC.

“They just have to pay the release clause and then I think they have an agreement with him and his agent for him to come over.

“I think this one will definitely happen this summer without a doubt.”

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However, it now appears Konate is not the only central defender Klopp is targeting.

Morabito says, after years of speculation, that Koulibaly will be leaving Napoli this summer.

And he says there is “concrete” interest from Liverpool, who are leading the way for the Senegal star’s signature.

“Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz are on their way out: if they were to be sold, two other high-level players would arrive,” Morabito told Radio Marte.

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“There are concrete interests for both, but the post-Covid prices will be downwards.

“Liverpool is in pole for Koulibaly, and it is also the club that can satisfy [Aurelio] De Laurentiis economically.”

Last week, speaking on Reach PLC’s Transfer Window podcast, Ian McGarry claimed Koulibaly could be sold for as little as £38.7m this summer.

However, McGarry’s information was that Manchester United were ahead of Liverpool in pursuit of the 29-year-old.

“Kalidou Koulibaly is most certainly on the market,” McGarry said.

“We have been told by an agent who is very close to Napoli that Aurelio De Laurentis, the chairman and president of Napoli, is willing to take a knockdown price for the defender, given that he is about to turn 30 years old, and will cash in on him.

“He was available for €90m in last summer’s transfer window but we understand that a fee of around €60m (£51.6m), potentially even as little as €45m would be enough to secure his services.

“Now, we know that Manchester United are interested and also Liverpool, although Liverpool have cooled their interest somewhat.”

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