Liverpool are in the race to sign RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate. The 21-year-old has played 90 times for the German side since signing for them in 2017.
As per Eurosport, Liverpool are one of three Premier League sides interested in signing Ibrahima Konate, with arch-rivals Manchester United and Chelsea also interested in the Frenchman. The report further goes on to state that Leipzig will allow Konate to leave the club if they receive a bid of around £34 million in the summer transfer window. Liverpool have reportedly contacted Leipzig officials about a move for the centre-back in a bid to beat their rivals to his signature.
The promising French defender has two years remaining on his current deal at RB Leipzig, having signed an extension back in 2019.
Ibrahima Konate: Ideal long-term partner for VVD?
Ibrahima Konate is a player that has shown great promise over the last few years, and one of the many young stars that Leipzig have trusted recently. The French centre-back is a strong, tall, and quick player who is commanding at the back and likes to press opposition attackers.
Konate uses his pace and strength to try to dispossess opponents and also quickly initiate attacks. The Leipzig defender is also skilful with the ball at his feet and is not afraid to bring the ball out from defence and force his way into the opposition’s half. Konate also uses his 6’4″ frame to good effect by winning aerial duels at the back.
The Frenchman could be a great fit in the Liverpool backline, which has been chopped and changed quite a bit this season due to injuries to key players. The Reds have been unlucky with injuries as three of their first-team centre-backs – Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have missed a huge chunk of the season.
This has forced manager Jurgen Klopp to field youngsters as well as midfielders at the back. The injuries also highlighted the lack of quality depth in the centre-back position, which is one reason why last season’s Premier League champions should sign a centre-back like Konate. The Frenchman could form a robust partnership with Virgil van Dijk at the back, thanks to his speed and aggression.
His qualities would suit the Liverpool style of play where Klopp demands his players to play at a quick tempo and press high up the pitch. The addition of a strong defender like Ibrahima Konate could also help right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has been found wanting in the past defensively. Konate, under a coach like Klopp, could be a top-quality defender and forge a strong partnership with van Dijk in the long term.