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Liverpool meet release clause for defender

Central defender Ibrahima Konaté is close to joining Liverpool, after the Premier League side agreed to meet his release clause.

The French defender, who has just turned 23, in in France where he is preparing for his country’s quarter-final in the European under-21 Championship against the Netherlands, but a  deal may be concluded before that match next week.

Liverpool have been looking to strengthen their central defence after losing their three first-choice players in that position, and, although all three – Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all set to be fit ahead of next season, Jurgen Klopp’s side have decided to press ahead with the signing of Konaté anyway, and are set to pay £40 million for him.

Konate played 21 times for the Bundesliga side last season, but was by no means a first choice with Dayot Upamecano and Willi Orban ahead of him in the pecking order.

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