Liverpool 'SNUB Ozan Kabak as Reds turn down chance to sign Turk for £20m'

Liverpool have reportedly snubbed the opportunity to sign Ozan Kabak on a permanent deal, with the Anfield side on the verge of signing Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.

The 21-year-old Turk was roped in on deadline day in the January transfer window with Jurgen Klopp desperate for defensive reinforcements after Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez suffered long-term injuries.

Kabak endured a shaky start to life in Merseyside, with a poor debut against Leicester City in which a blunder between himself and Alisson Becker led to a Jamie Vardy goal as Brendan Rodgers' side ran out 3-1 winners.

However, the Turk has steadily improved and put in a top performance against RB Leipzig as Liverpool advanced to the quarter finals of the Champions League, only to be dumped out by Real Madrid in the last eight.

Yet Klopp has not turned to the youngster for the final run in as Liverpool secured a place in the top four, failing to make the matchday squad for their last five league games.

Kabak had expressed his desire to stay at Anfield on a permanent deal while Jurgen Klopp has remained coy on the subject, and according to Patrick Berger, Liverpool have opted not to trigger the Turk's £20m release clause.

The development comes as a blow to Kabak and Schalke, who are reportedly desperate to offload the defender as they look to balance the books.

Kabak is a target of Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, as well as Leicester City - where the 21-year-old would team up with compatriot Caglar Soyuncu.

'Jurgen has not said anything yet,' Kabak told Sportsmail of his transfer limbo last week. 'We don't speak about this topic so far. We will see. This is a huge club, I am very proud to wear this jersey so far. Every moment, every single minute, I am proud. I try to give my best so far. I did my job.

'We will see what is going to happen next season, but whatever it is I have really enjoyed it and appreciate what everyone has done for me. When I first came here to Liverpool we spoke and he is a very good man. I think (he would like to keep working with me).'

Meanwhile, Liverpool are pursuing other defensive options, with Fabrizio Romano reporting that a £30m fee has been agreed with Leipzig for 21-year-old defender Ibrahima Konate, who will sign a five-year deal.

The Reds had hit a stumbling block in negotiations for the Frenchman, with Leipzig unwilling to accept the fee in instalments, instead preferring the sum payed all in one. That issue appears to be ironed out as Klopp looks to close the gap to Premier League champions Manchester City.

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