Liverpool are reportedly in the race for RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate.
The Bundesliga outfit confirmed the departure of Dayot Upamecano earlier this week, with the France international set to join Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
Upamecano’s departure represented the culmination of months of speculation linking him with a move away from the Red Bull Arena, but Julian Nagelsmann may be facing a fight to keep another prodigious central defender at the club.
Indeed, according to a report from German media outlet Bild, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are all interested in signing Ibrahima Konate in the summer transfer window after missing out on Upamecano.
The same report claims that the 21-year-old talent has a €45m (£38.9m) release clause which can be activated this summer.
GIVEMESPORT’s Jack Saville says…
Konate has had an injury-stricken opening to his promising career and it’s difficult to establish just how high his ceiling truly is.
However, a player profile piece published by Bundesliga.com last year gave an insight into the enormity of his potential.
The France under-21 international was compared to Virgil van Dijk due to his graceful ability to make defending look easy, while a quote from Nagelsmann’s predecessor, namely Ralf Rangnick, pointed towards a glowing career at the apex of European football.
“I’m particularly delighted with our coup in signing Ibrahima Konate. We got him on a free transfer from Sochaux. He’s is so good that he could play for Real Madrid or Barcelona one day.”
That the 6ft 4in defender has been tipped to play for clubs of Barca and Real’s calibre underlines his capacity to grow into a world-class defender in the coming years.
Liverpool are crying out for genuine quality in defence during a season in which their reliance on Van Dijk has been painfully exposed.
If those quotes from Rangnick are anything to go by, the Reds are certainly looking in the right place to rectify that problem ahead of the summer window.