Manchester United have reportedly joined the race to sign RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, also a target for Chelsea and Liverpool.
According to a report by The Independent, Manchester United have set their sights on Ibrahima Konate over a move in the summer transfer window. The RB Leipzig defender is also the subject of interest from two other Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and Liverpool.
Konate joined RB Leipzig from FC Sochaux in the summer of 2017 amid a lot of intrigue around him and his talent. Over the last four years or so, however, the 21-year-old’s progress has been quite slow, owing to a couple of long-term injuries, with his ignominy being worsened this season to an extent as well.
In fact, Konate has managed to start just 9 of the 29 games that Leipzig have played so far this term till date. However, despite his fitness struggles, the Frenchman continues to be regarded quite highly by some of the biggest clubs in the world, with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea currently in his pursuit.
Liverpool hold a long-standing interest in Konate, whose RB Leipzig teammate Dayot Upamecano also reportedly features on their radar. The Reds did bolster their defence in the January transfer window by signing Ozan Kabak on loan and Ben Davies permanently. However, with there being no guarantees that Kabak will be signed on a permanent deal in the summer.
So, it is imperative that Liverpool keep their options open, especially considering the recent fitness issues that have plagued Joel Matip. As for Manchester United, there have been murmurings that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to sign a left-footed centre-back to complement the qualities of captain Harry Maguire.
With Victor Lindelof being troubled by a chronic back problem and Eric Bailly having his fair share of injury woes, Manchester United have the need to sign a centre-back anyway, although it will be interesting to see if they are wary of Konate’s own fitness troubles. Having said that, the reports has suggested that Konate is viewed as an attractive option for the Red Devils, even though they would prefer signing Upamecano.
Speaking of Upamecano, Chelsea have been heavily linked with the Frenchman in recent weeks. However, with Bayern Munich reportedly leading the race to sign him, Konate is being viewed as a potential alternative for the Blues, who need to start laying down the succession plan for 36-year-old Brazilian Thiago Silva, despite only signing him last summer.
A price tag has not been mentioned by The Independent, but a transfer battle does appear to be in the offing as far as the race to sign Konate is concerned. It now remains to be seen if the 21-year-old does leave Leipzig in the summer, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool chasing him.