Liverpool are reportedly leaning towards a permanent deal for on-loan defender Ozan Kabak over signing a new central defender this summer.
According to Sport Bild, Liverpool are unlikely to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate at the end of the season as Kabak has emerged as a cheaper option.
The report claims every extra £1m they have to spend hurts them after big losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic over the last 12 months.
Konate has a €40m (£34m) release clause in his Leipzig contract, whilst Liverpool reportedly believe that they could negotiate a fee of £10m for Kabak from Schalke. The Reds currently have an £18m option-to-buy in Kabak’s loan contract, but are hoping to take advantage of Schalke’s financial position to secure a cheaper deal for the Turkish international defender.
If Liverpool are trying to save as much money as possible, leaning towards signing Kabak permanently instead of Konate makes plenty of sense. Kabak is potentially going to be available for £24m less than Konate, which is a huge sum of money Liverpool could save by keeping the Schalke man at Anfield. This means that Liverpool could either save the remaining transfer budget they were willing to spend for next summer or use it for any future debts the club may suffer as a result of the pandemic.
Kabak is also already accustomed to playing for Jurgen Klopp having been at the club since January. The young defender will have had five months of training with the German head coach by the end of his loan spell and will have got to know his teammates in that time, which means that he would not need the bedding-in period that a player like Konate would need next season.
I’m a 22-year-old football writer from Lowestoft. I produce, edit, and publish articles for Anfield Watch full-time.