RB Leipzig speak on Konate to Liverpool links amid £34m move rumours


B Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche appears to have ruled out a move to Liverpool for defender Ibrahima Konate.

The French centre-back, 21, has been heavily linked with Anfield over recent weeks as Jurgen Klopp seeks to strengthen a defensive unit that has been plagued by injuries throughout a disastrous Premier League title defence in 2020/21.

Liverpool have been without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for most of the season, while Joel Matip is also out for the remainder of the campaign, with Klopp forced to experiment with a seemingly never-ending range of makeshift centre-half partnerships.

Ozan Kabak was signed on loan from Schalke in January, while Ben Davies was a surprise arrival from Championship side Preston.

It seems that Liverpool will make further moves to strengthen at centre-back in the summer, though it remains to be seen if Kabak will join on a full-time basis.

The Reds are said to retain a strong interest in Konate – a player who has also caught the eye of the likes of Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Chelsea – amid reports that they are ready to trigger his release clause worth around £34million.

However, Leipzig are understandably eager not to lose the player, with fellow highly-rated centre-back Dayot Upamecano having already agreed to join Bundesliga rivals Bayern in July.

“I think that this is not an option for Ibu,” Leipzig director Krosche said of a potential move to Liverpool for Konate.

“He has a long contract with us and he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.

“He was unlucky last year as he had a long-term injury but this year he is developing well and he is an extremely important player that has a lot of potential.

“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.”

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