Chelsea handed transfer blow as Liverpool close in on Ibrahima Konate signing

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Chelsea have suffered a setback in their pursuit of a new centre-back this summer as Liverpool close in on RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate. 

The 21-year-old, who is highly-rated in Germany, is on the verge of agreeing a deal to join Jurgen Klopp's side, which will see Chelsea miss out on another defensive target.

It was revealed by the Athletic, who confirmed that they are finalising a deal for the France international and are making 'significant progress', although 'there is still work to be done and there are other suitors'.

Konate has a reported £40 million release clause and has attracted interest from fellow Premier League clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester United. 

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Chelsea have now missed out on two Leipzig defenders - Dayot Upamecano who ended up joining Bayern Munich, and now Konate to their league rivals. 

The options are dwindling for Tuchel's men this summer ahead of the summer transfer window as clubs to start to plan their windows and signings well in advanced.

Niklas Sule of Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid centre-back Jose Gimenez are also on the Blues' shortlist this summer, but their main defensive target remains unclear. 

Leipzig are under no pressure to let Konate go and the release clause is the only way the Frenchman departs this summer. Leipzig are aware of Liverpool's interest, however haven't yet activated the clause which still gives other interested parties the opportunities to make a last minute move. 


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