Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Rory Smith of the New York Times has hinted that Liverpool intend to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konaté.

Smith was speaking on the Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast when he made the teasing revelation, having paid reference to Liverpool’s upcoming Champions League clash with the German side.

Most DISAPPOINTING Premier League Player Of EVERY Age (18-38)

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The New York Times journalist said: “I think Liverpool intend to sign a centre-back in the summer and I think that central defender is probably someone they will play against in the Champions League’s Last 16. And I don’t think it’s going to be Dayot Upamecano.

“The club’s principal and policy is ‘If we can’t get the exact player we want then we are not going to sign anybody’ – and that has worked for them brilliantly. I don’t think it’s to do with money not being available to Klopp.”

Interestingly, Smith speaks about Jurgen Klopp’s side preferring to wait for their No.1 target, rather than panic buying a less desired option.

Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

Judging by his comments, that seems to be the case here yet again as Smith doesn’t believe it’s a case of money not being available to the former Borussia Dortmund boss.

If Liverpool do eventually bring the Frenchman to Anfield, it looks likely to cost them a fair bit of cash.

German news outlet Bild have revealed that Konaté has a €50 million (£44 million) release clause in his contract with the Bundesliga side.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

That might seem like a lot, although it would be a wise long-term investment for a player who is still just 21, but boasts plenty of Champions League experience.

Whoever they sign, Liverpool must ensure that they are getting a centre-back who isn’t injury prone and can be relied on.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez’s injuries have completely derailed Liverpool’s season, while Joel Matip can’t seem to keep himself fit.

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