Liverpool are running out of time to sign a new central defender with just over two weeks left in the transfer window.
It remains to be seen whether the Reds will make a mid-season move in order to bolster their stuttering title defence but, with Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk expected to be sidelined for the majority of the season, the supporters will certainly be hoping to see a new recruit arrive at Anfield before the deadline passes.
To say Liverpool’s title credentials depend on their ability to sign a new defender would undermine the depth of Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Yet, even with that in mind, it is hard to escape the feeling that the signing of a new centre-back is exactly what they need to successfully defend their title.
Of course, it all comes down to personnel. Liverpool need to recruit a player who is both a short and long-term option instead of sanctioning a myopic panic-buy.
And according to a recent report from Bild journalist Christian Falk, the Premier League title holders are interested in a player who matches the aforementioned description, namely Ibrahim Konate.
Indeed, Falk confirmed Liverpool’s interest via his Twitter account on Friday and also revealed that they have joined Chelsea in contacting RB Leipzig over Dayot Upamecano.
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Upamecano’s performances with RB Leipzig in the Champions League certainly haven’t gone unnoticed on the continent, which has forced his defensive partner under the radar somewhat.
At just 21 years of age, though, Konate has already racked up 86 appearances for the Bundesliga outfit and impressed Bayern Munich goal machine Robert Lewandowski in the process.
“Leipzig have two really good centre-backs in Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate,” said the Poland international.
But it’s the parallels that have been drawn between Konate and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk that particularly catch the eye.
Indeed, Bundesliga.com have produced a player profile on the Paris-born defender which gives an insight into his career so far, and they claim he is stylistically similar to Van Dijk in a glowing assessment.
“Likening Konate to one of the best centre-backs in recent times may seem like a premature comparison. It’s not. There are few in the position who excel at so many aspects of the game as the young Frenchman.
“Whether it be in terms of positioning, sticking tight to the striker, intercepting passes, tackling or building from the back, Konate cannot just do it all, he makes it look easy.”
Standing at 6ft 4in tall, the defender is part of a golden generation of emerging French players and a strong option for Michael Edwards and co. to consider this month.
Given the hype surrounding Konate’s development, the lofty comparison with Liverpool’s indomitable leader and his sizable £36.45m Transfermarkt valuation, it’s unlikely the mooted transfer target will come cheap.