Ibrahima Konate denies contact with Liverpool over summer move
Liverpool have been dealt a blow in their search for centre-back reinforcements with Ibrahima Konate denying speculation that he is set for a move to Anfield in the summer.
The Athletic had reported last month that a transfer was all but done, with the Reds believed to have decided to trigger the estimated €40 million release clause.
Jurgen Klopp has long been an admirer of the young Frenchman, but the player himself has pledged his allegiance to RB Leipzig and denied any interest from the Premier League champions.
“I have a contract until 2023, and contracts are there to be fulfilled,” he told Bild.
“There are often rumours in football and many believe them immediately. Neither I nor my agents got a call from Liverpool.”
Konate’s countryman and Leipzig teammate Dayot Upamecano has already been confirmed to be moving to Bayern Munich at season’s end and Konate was believed to be following suit.
READ MORE: Who is Ibrahima Konate?
The 21-year-old stressed he has “big goals” at Leipzig and distanced himself from being the man to take the mantle from Upamecano.
“I don’t want to be Dayot’s successor. I’m me,” he said.
“Unfortunately, our paths are now parting. I’ll leave Dayot to the new job and continue to do my thing here.”
It is well documented that Liverpool are searching for defensive reinforcements, with Ozan Kabak performing well since his January loan transfer from Schalke.
Liverpool’s search for central defenders continues
But with fellow January signing Ben Davies yet to see the pitch and the club reportedly considering putting Joel Matip in the shop window, the search is continuing for further options at centre-back.
Konate has emerged as a leading target and is also being eyed by Manchester United, while Liverpool are also believed to be keen on Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Duje Caleta-Car of Marseille, who was a rumoured target in January.
It has been a difficult 18 months or so for Konate with the Frenchman suffering a string of injury issues since October 2019 that have halted his growth somewhat.
But he remains focused on achieving his potential with Leipzig and with the France U-21 national team at the Euros in the summer, though this transfer saga is likely very far from being over.