RB Leizpig star Ibrahima Konate opted to dodge a question centering on Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp this week, amid continuous speculation surrounding his future.
Central defender Konate’s name has of course taken centre stage in the transfer market over the last couple of weeks.
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.
Last 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
As outlined above, though, whilst all signs appear to point towards an imminent Anfield switch for the stopper, Konate himself remains keen to play the subject of his future down.
Speaking on the UMM YouTube channel this week, the 21-year-old partook in a game of ‘In That Order’.
The interviewer, in turn, opted to chance his arm with one of his questions, asking Konate to rank Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and, significantly, Jurgen Klopp, from best to worst.
The Leipzig star, however, had his wits very much about him, and, with a wry smile painted across his face, replied:
‘No, no, no, no. I think I cannot answer this question. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.’
Konate was less shy about ranking the trio of Sergio Ramos, David Alaba and potential future teammate Virgil van Dijk, though, showing little hesitation in naming Real Madrid captain Ramos as the world’s best defender:
‘Ramos – number one of course. Van Dijk, then Alaba.’
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) April 8, 2021