Speculation surrounding the future of RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate has continued to swirl across the European media on Tuesday.
Central defender Konate’s name has of course taken centre stage in the transfer market over the last 48 hours.
This comes amid widespread claims that Premier League champions Liverpool are readying a summer assault for the 21-year-old.
The heart of the club’s backline has proven a major problem area for the Reds to this point in the campaign, amid a host of long-term injury problems.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT )Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool collides with Everton’s goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on October 17, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
And Konate, in turn, appears to have been identified as the kind of player ready to step into Jurgen Klopp’s ranks for years to come.
In fact, on Monday, the reliable David Ornstein of the Athletic went as far as to claim that the transfer chiefs on the red half of Merseyside were working towards ‘finalising’ a deal for the Frenchman.
This comes with Konate’s RB Leipzig contract containing a release clause worth just €40m.
🚨 Exclusive: Liverpool working to finalise deal for Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig. Not done but significant progress made + #LFC pursuit of 21yo French centre-back now advanced. Likely his ~€40m release clause will need paying @TheAthleticUK #RBLeipzig https://t.co/GIdqf6yMXN
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) March 29, 2021
Liverpool medical underway?
It therefore came as something of a surprise when, after being drawn on the rumours of an imminent Anfield switch for his side’s young stalwart earlier today, Leipzig director Markus Krösche explained:
‘I think that this is not an option for Ibu.’
‘He has a long contract with us and he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.’
‘We want to help him to develop further, and we play in Europe and have a very good team, so I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.’
If the latest word stemming from the French media over the hours since is to be believed, however, then such comments appear to have been little more than posturing on Krösche’s part.
This comes amid claims that Konate, in fact, has already undergone the opening phase of a medical with Liverpool.
The info comes courtesy of RMC Sport (via GFFN), who also go on to add that the stopper’s entourage have made it clear that their client has a number of options on the table when it comes to his future.
Ibrahima Konaté has undergone a portion of a medical with Liverpool in Paris, according to RMC. https://t.co/WHKainAbdv
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) March 30, 2021