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fightback Liverpool agree deal for their first big signing of the summer and more will follow

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his summer transfer plans will not change much even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League (Lee Smith/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his summer transfer plans will not change much even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League (Lee Smith/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his summer transfer plans will not change much even if they fail to qualify for the Champions League (Lee Smith/PA)

Liverpool have agreed a deal for their first big signing of this summer's transfer window, with manager Jurgen Klopp keen to reboot his side after a traumatic season that has been seriously disrupted by injuries.

The Sunday World revealed in mid-March that Liverpool had made RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate their top transfer target and a deal now appears to be in place to bring the 21-year-old Frenchman to Anfield.

Widespread reports in Germany and England suggest a five-year deal has been agreed for the defender, with the announcement of the deal set to come at some point in May.

sundayworld.com understand this is the first of two key defensive signings for Liverpool this summer, with Klopp keen to ensure he avoid another defensive crisis after he lost Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to long-term injuries this season.

Sources have told us that on-loan defender Ozan Kabak has impressed club staff since his arrival from Schalke in January, with Konate's imminent arrival not affecting the decision on whether to complete an £18million deal for the Turkish centre-back.

The final decision on Kabak's Liverpool future will be made at the end of the season, when all options are considered and finances for additional transfers are assessed.

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Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig. (Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig. (Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig. (Photo by Ahmad Mora/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Liverpool are set to follow a policy of targeting youthful performers with potential to develop into top class players this summer, with Konate and Kabak both falling into that category.

Signing two of Europe's most promising defenders in a £50million deal appears to be good business for Liverpool in a summer when several members of Klopp's squad are expected to move on.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi look certain to leave, while huge question marks have emerged around the Anfield futures of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

There is an anticipation that the door will be open for players to leave Liverpool, with the names of those who make their exit dependent on the offers that come in.

The money received from player sales will also impact Klopp's spending plans, with Anfield insiders suggesting deals to sign players such as Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe are financially unrealistic as the club counts the cost from the Covid-19 pandemic.

That position could change if a player of Mohamed Salah's stature was to leave Liverpool, with fresh reports surfacing in recent days linking the forward with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

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We understand Liverpool have no intention of selling Salah, but his contract is due to expire in the summer of 2023 and that may be a consideration if a big money offer comes in this summer.

Liverpool are struggling to secure a place in next season's Champions League, but former Liverpool striker and Sunday World columnist John Aldridge has insisted that should not impact their transfer ambitions.

"Any player should want to work under Klopp," Aldo told us. "There will be those who have agents that make sure they go to the club that offers the most money, but that should not be your sole ambition.

"You should want to work for the best managers in the world and play for the biggest clubs in the world and that is what Klopp and Liverpool are.

"When the fans are back next season and Liverpool have captain Jordan Henderson back in the team and Virgil van Dijk marshalling the defence, they could click back into gear quickly.

"The forward positions may need a bit of tweaking this summer and I'd expect to see a few arrivals and a few players heading out. Liverpool have to get it right now because the momentum they had this time last year has all gone."

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