Manchester United are looking to hijack Liverpool‘s attempt to sign Ibrahima Konate in the upcoming transfer window. According to Eurosport, Manchester United are in search of a new central defender and are looking at Konate as a very robust option. Liverpool have also been linked with a summer move for Ibrahima Konate.
The Merseyside club have failed to defend their Premier League title this season. The team is standing at the 7th spot on the league table with just 49 points after 30 games. They are three points behind the 4th placed West Ham United. Jurgen Klopp is now aiming to finish in the top four but even that is a tough ask looking at their dismal form. The major issue for Liverpool this season has been the long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
As they had no fit centre-halves left in the squad, Liverpool were forced to sign Ozan Kabak on loan and Ben Davies permanently but both of these players still need a lot of time to develop. This is why Liverpool are hoping that Konate can be the option who can pair up with Virgil Van Dijk next season and beyond.
But with Manchester United’s interest in Konate, things can get exciting in the summer window.
Should Manchester United go after Ibrahima Konate?
The French under-21 international is a dominant force in the air and wins most of his duels. He has a strong physique and also possesses good pace. The defender prefers to carry the ball forward from defence and is adept at setting up his team’s attacks. Without a doubt, he can work more on his excellent qualities and become an even better player at Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prefers the pair of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in central defence. Eric Bailly is the third-choice centre-back at the club but that is mainly because he often finds himself on the injury table. Many fans and pundits wanted to see a sustained partnership of the powerful duo of Bailly and Maguire but that hasn’t materialised, mainly due to the injury-prone nature of the Ivorian international. Now it seems that the team management has run out of patience and want an alternative solution at centre-back.
The 26-year old has just over a year remaining in his contract with Manchester United. The club need to make a decision on whether to cash in on Bailly or back him by offering a new contract, as they cannot afford to let things hanging and face another contract conundrum down the line.
Ibrahima Konate will be a like-for-like replacement for Eric Bailly and at this young age, he will have many years to play at the top level for the Red Devils. RB Leipzig might demand around £34 million as the transfer fee.
Manchester United are looking to sign a forward in the summer as well. Due to Covid-19, every club is facing negative financial implications. United need to be smart in their business and have to figure out the path they want to take ahead of the summer transfer window as a number of teams are likely to be monitoring a very limited pool of players given the financial shortcomings.