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big call Liverpool make their call on Ozan Kabak as Ibrahima Konaté deal is set to be confirmed

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Liverpool centre-back Ozan Kabak

Liverpool centre-back Ozan Kabak

Liverpool centre-back Ozan Kabak

Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign Ibrahima Konaté and it appears that will ensure they will not pursue a deal to sign Ozan Kabak from RB Leipzig on a permanent transfer.

The Sunday World broke the story of Liverpool's interest in RB Leipzig defender Konaté in mid-March, with our back page exclusive revealing the Anfield club were leading the chase to sign the French centre-back.

Now that deal is close to being completed, with Konaté expected to finalise the details of his £34million move to Liverpool imminently.

That appears to be bad news for Kabak, who does not look set to seal the permanent deal to Liverpool he was hoping for after his loan spell from Schalke.

With Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all set to return from injury for the start of pre-season training in July, Liverpool believe they have the defensive cover they need with Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams adding to their options with impressive contributions in the final weeks of the season.

Kabak is now being strongly linked with a move to replace Konaté at Leipzig, with several clubs in the mix to sign a player who is available for a cut-price £18million.

The decision not to pursue a permanent deal for Kabak suggests Liverpool are keen to preserve their transfer kitty to target priorities in other areas of the field.

sundayworld.com were informed last month that Liverpool are looking to sign players with a youthful demographic, with a view to developing them into top tier performers under the guidance of Klopp and his team.

They have been strongly linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, but Manchester United are believed to be at the front of the queue to get that transfer over the line.

Brighton's Yves Bissouma has also been mentioned as a potential target, with Sunday World columnist and Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge suggesting a striker should be their priority.

"When you look at the amount of chances Liverpool missed this season, they are badly in need of a striker to take them to the next level," Aldo told us.

"There has been talk of a move for Kylian Mbappe, but I don't see that happening and the same with Harry Kane, who clearly wants to leave Spurs.

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"Financially, I don't see Liverpool competing with Manchester City and Chelsea for these elite players as they have money coming from alternative sources with their mega-rich owners.

"Liverpool can't compete with them financially, but they need a top defender and quality midfielder and a proven striker this summer. That's what they need, but it won't come cheap."

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