Ibrahima Konate ‘undergoes medical checks to advance £33m Liverpool move’… despite RB Leipzig insisting a deal for talented centre back is ‘not an option’ this summer
- Liverpool hold an interest in RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate this summer
- Jurgen Klopp is looking to work out a £33m deal to land the French defender
- Reports in France says he has completed some medical checks prior to a move
- Konate admitted his phone was ‘ringing all over the place’ at news of a switch
Ibrahima Konate has reportedly undertaken a number of medical checks ahead of finalising a switch to Liverpool.
Sportsmail reported on Monday that the Reds are looking to wrap up a £33million deal for the talented RB Leipzig defender.
The Bundesliga side pushed back on talk that a deal was done but a report by RMC Sport revealed that the defender has taken a step closer to Anfield following some medical examinations.
Ibrahima Konate has reportedly undergone medical checks in France ahead of a transfer
Konate in action against Manchester United in the Champions League in October last year
Jurgen Klopp has been dealing with a crisis at the back all season, with injuries to both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
And the Reds are looking to get a deal done for highly-rated Konate – who is currently with France at the Under-21 European Championship – ahead of the summer transfer window.
With Leipzig not in a position of having to sell, any buyer will have to pay Konate’s release clause of £33m (€40m), rather than trying to negotiate a lower asking price.
Leipzig, who sit second and four points off Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, are understood to be aware of interest in their centre-back but if Liverpool choose to pay his release clause, no talks would be needed.
Jurgen Klopp is looking to move quickly to bring in a centre back ahead of the summer window
Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk have both been sidelined with long-term injuries this campaign
That said, Liverpool and Leipzig, who recently met in the Champions League, have a good relationship, dating back to when they did business for Naby Keita.
Konate said his phone was ‘ringing all over the place’ as news of Liverpool’s £33m move for him emerged.
He told L’Equipe: ‘I woke up, I saw my phone ringing all over the place. I just wanted to tell them, “Hey, I played yesterday, I’m tired, leave me alone”.
‘Frankly, I don’t even watch this. We can’t focus on that, there are the Euros and then my return to the club. You have to focus on that and not on the external things.’
Despite RMC Sport reporting that a switch to Liverpool had ‘advanced’ following some medical checks, RB Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche insisted a switch to Anfield is ‘not an option’.
‘I think that this is not an option for Ibu,’ Krosche said of Konate, who has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season and has a contract at Leipzig until June 2023.
The central defender played against Russia on Sunday as France won at the tournament
RB Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche has said it is ‘not an option’ for Konate to depart
‘He has a long contract with us and he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.
‘He was unlucky last year as he had a long-term injury but this year he is developing well and he is an extremely important player that has a lot of potential.
‘We want to help him to develop further, and we play in Europe and have a very good team, so I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.’
Krosche and the rest of the RB Leipzig hierarchy have already sanctioned Dayot Upamecano’s exit this summer with the French centre-back leaving for Bayern Munich.
That, in turn, could see them try to keep hold of Konate for a further year so as not to be left exposed defensively heading into another season of Champions League football in 2021-22.