The current Premier League champions have endured a tough defence of their title due to season-ending injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, with their unprecedented fitness concerns have hit the entire defence.
Chelsea have also been linked with interest in a player highly rated in both Germany and France.
Who is Ibrahima Konate?
With a lot of attention in Leipzig centred around Dayot Upamecano, who is set to join Bayern Munich in the summer, the younger Ibrahima Konate has perhaps one under the radar.
Konate, born in 1999, spent his youth career in France with Paris FC before moving to Ligue 2 side Sochaux in 2014 as he made his first steps into the international game with France U16s.
The centre-back broke into the Sochaux first team in 2017, making 13 appearances, and scoring one goal, and attracted the attention of Leipzig who had only recently been promoted to the Bundesliga and signed Konate on a free.
He has since established himself alongside Upamecano but has not been without his injury problems.
Ibrahima Konate injury history
Konate has had plenty of injury problems over the past two years, missing a total of 393 days since the start of the 2019-20 season.
Three consecutive muscle injuries have hampered his progression, before an ankle injury recently ruled out him for just under two months.
He has not started a game for Leipzig since December and has partnered Upamecano just 20 times, out of a possible 128 games, since joining in 2017.
What have been Konate’s key metrics and stats this season?
Konate, who stands tall at six foot four inches, is among the quickest centre-backs in Europe and is extremely strong in the air.
According to WhoScored, Konate has won 85.7% per cent of his aerial battles in the Bundesliga this season – an area Liverpool are lacking in this season with only Manchester City winning fewer.
On top of that, Konate’s pass success rate is 83.5% this season, down from 88.6% in the injury-hit 2019-20 campaign.
What is Konate’s playing style?
Konate has been compared to both Van Dijk and Upamecano.
Guido Schafer, a former team-mate of Jurgen Klopp’s at Mainz, recently told the Under The Radar podcast: “The is only 21 years old and he is as good as Dayot Upamecano when he is fit. They are absolutely at the same level.
“He is tall, fast, good technique and he is a little bit of Virgil van Dijk. He is the chief, in a positive way, of the French connection in the Leipzig squad, on and off the field. He learned German as fast as no other guy.
“He has very high-class potential. He is a great athlete, he has good speed and there are no silly tackles – he is an intelligent player.
“And in the 100 metres, Konate is the fastest player in RB Leipzig. It is a potentially world-class package.
“He is really good in passing and that is from Julian Nagelsmann – he needs players who can pass. Konate is the right player for [teams who play out from the back] and for Liverpool.”
How could Konate fit into Liverpool’s defence?
If he joins, Konate will compete with Joe Gomez for the second centre-back slot alongside Van Dijk.
January arrival Ben Davies, who is yet to make his debut, will also be hoping for minutes with Joel Matip ahead of him in the queue.
Ozan Kabak is currently on loan from Schalke, but Liverpool will reportedly sign only one of him or Konate.