Liverpool’s 2020-21 season may have ended up something of a disappointing slog, but in football there’s always another season fast approaching on the horizon, and with it a chance for the Reds perhaps to get fit, get the fans back, and go again.
With that in mind, much of the attention in recent months has turned to what the club might do to strengthen at a few key positions of need this summer, and in particular to the potential signing of centre half Ibrahima Konaté from RB Leipzig.
And if you believe what Fabrizio Romano told TalkSport this week, that deal is all but done right now with Liverpool having agreed personal terms with Konaté and now hard at work negotiating a payment structure for his fee with Leipzig.
Konaté has a release clause—reported as between £30-40M in the months he’s been linked with the Reds but increasingly seeming to be pegged at €35M, or just a hair over £30M—but Liverpool are looking to avoid paying it entirely up front.
If they’re set on not triggering the clause and paying a lump sum and instead pay in instalments, one expects they would have to offer Leipzig something for that, whether it’s a larger total fee or a player heading in the other direction.
While partial player exchanges are rare, it was that kind of creativity needed to get a transfer done at a time of financial uncertainty that saw Ki-Jana Hoever head to Wolves last summer as part of the deal to bring Diogo Jota to Anfield.
Now, the Reds may need to get creative again in order to avoid a lump-sum payment for Konaté—though at this stage, the only real question appears to be how they eventually get his deal done and sign him, not whether they do.