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Liverpool are unlikely to rival Manchester United to sign Jadon Sancho this summer and will also swerve a big-money move for Paris Saint-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe, according to reports.
The Reds are closing in on their first signing of the summer in the form of RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, who will cost around £36million due to a release clause.
The French centre-back, 22, will strengthen Jurgen Klopp’s defensive options as a new choice alongside Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to partner Virgil van Dijk.
But the German is not expected to make wide-sweeping changes to his first-team squad at Anfield with it hoped the club’s returning players can make an impact next term.
As well as Gomez and Matip, captain Jordan Henderson will return from a long-term injury absence to help replace the outgoing Gini Wijnaldum in central midfield.
Liverpool are expected however to sign an attacker if Divock Origi and or Xherdan Shaqiri depart in the coming months as is likely.
But The Athletic say senior club sources have dismissed the idea of Liverpool landing either Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho, who is United’s top summer target, or PSG’s Mbappe.
England international Sancho, 21, could be on the market for as little as £77m despite coming off the back of a 16-goal, 20-assist season for Dortmund.
Sancho has established himself as one of Europe’s more exciting young forwards over the past few seasons but it appears United will have a clear run at signing him.
Mbappe has also been mentioned in connection with Liverpool with his PSG contract expiring in 2022 and an extension yet to be signed.
The Frenchman, 22, is another leading talent of the next generation and scored 42 goals and laid on 11 assists for PSG this season including 27 strikes in the league to clinch the Ligue 1 title.
It has recently been claimed Mbappe sees himself playing at Liverpool or Real Madrid when he departs the Parisians.
But The Athletic claim that a move for the World Cup winner has also been ruled out by sources, with the finances in a deal for the France international likely to be way above what Liverpool are capable of paying.
The report adds that Liverpool boss Klopp is largely content with the state of his squad and that only a couple of signings are likely to follow Konate in joining the club this summer.
Despite a difficult 2020-21 campaign, the Reds went their final 10 Premier League games unbeaten, winning eight, to end up third in the table and only five points behind second-placed Manchester United.
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That was despite being without Van Dijk and Gomez for much of the year while Matip also endured regular niggles before suffering a season-ending injury.
Klopp said after Liverpool sealed a top-four finish with a 2-0 defeat of Crystal Palace: “This is a sensational group and that’s the good thing: in all the tough times, there was nothing [of] pointing fingers at others and saying, ‘It’s because of that or because of that.’’ We just went through it.
“Yes, it was tough but we went through it and here we are. If you don’t give up you have a proper chance and this was never the year to become champion for us, we had too many problems.
“But who cares? There must be other targets and we are third in this incredibly strong league, that’s insane! That’s the third-best finish we ever had since I am here, so not too bad!
“I am really happy. We had so many problems. It’s absolutely incredible. I would have never bet a penny on that [that Liverpool would finish third] but here we are.”
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