• Ibrahima Konate is contracted with RB Leipzig until 2023
  • He has made just nine league appearances this season
  • He has a release clause of around $49 million at Leipzig

Liverpool FC have reportedly conducted initial medical tests for RB Leipzig center-back Ibrahima Konate in Paris and the Premier League champions are close to sealing the transfer.

Konate, who has a release clause of around $49 million at Leipzig, has passed the medical tests in Paris despite his ongoing injury issues, reported French media outlet RMC Sports.

Liverpool have been scouting more options for their defense, especially since their current campaign has been majorly hit by the injuries of first-choice center-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. The next-in-line defender in the Reds' camp, Joel Matip, is also currently sidelined due to an injury.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk POOL / Catherine Ivill

While the report has stated that "several clubs" are after Konate, Liverpool are ahead in the race to sign the French defender. Konate, who joined RB Leipzig in 2017, is contracted with the German club until 2023. Liverpool reportedly will not have a problem even if the Anfield side has to trigger the player's $49 million release clause.

Earlier this week, Liverpool's links with Konate had taken a backstep when RB Leipzig director Markus Krosche informed the Premier League champions that Konate had "no reason to make the move."

"I think that this is not an option for Ibu. He has a long contract with us and he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us. He was unlucky last year as he had a long-term injury but this year he is developing well. He’s an extremely important player that has a lot of potential. We want to help him to develop further, and we play in Europe and have a very good team. I don’t see a reason for him to leave us," Krosche said in an interview, Teamtalk reported.

Konate, who made his top-flight debut with Leipzig in 2017, made only 11 appearances for the German side last year after his season was struck with a long injury. Even in the 2020-21 campaign, Konate has not been spared as he suffered an ankle injury in January. Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann has used him only in very few matches. Konate has played only nine league games this season and overall, he has bagged only 15 appearances across all competitions.