Manchester United are reportedly considering a summer move for RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, who is also a target for Liverpool.
According to a report by Eurosport, Liverpool are no longer alone in the race to sign Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig in the summer transfer window. The French under-21 international is also the subject of interest from Manchester United over a possible transfer ahead of next season.
Konate is just one of many to have emerged out of the conveyor belt of French prospects in recent years. Currently at RB Leipzig, the 21-year-old is widely regarded to be one of the most promising young defenders in Bundesliga at present, even though his progress has been curtailed massively in recent years due to a number of injuries.
In fact, Konate has been hampered by fitness issues in the ongoing season as well, restricting him to just 892 minutes of footballing action so far. Despite his struggles to remain fit, though, Konate is rated quite highly by some of the biggest clubs in the world, with Liverpool and Manchester United among the clubs that have been tailing him.
Liverpool seem to be making amends on the defensive front in the transfer market at long last after having chosen not to replace Dejan Lovren last summer. It took the long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip to force their hand, but the Reds did enter the market to sign Ozan Kabak on loan and Ben Davies permanently.
However, there are no guarantees that Kabak will be signed permanently, while Davies is yet to make a single appearance for Liverpool due to fitness issues. Therefore, it is not hard to see why Liverpool remain in the market for a centre-back, with a move for Konate being mooted. However, the Reds now face stiff competition from Manchester United in his pursuit.
Like Liverpool, fitness issues have plagued centre-backs at Manchester United, with Victor Lindelof being bothered by a chronic back issue, while Eric Bailly has struggled to remain fit for stretched periods over the course of his stint at Old Trafford. That leaves captain Harry Maguire as the only recognised option at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s disposal, with Axel Tuanzebe lacking experience at the highest level.
To add to Manchester United’s concern, Bailly is facing an uncertain future at the club, which means the Red Devils are reluctantly entering the market for a centre-back this summer, as per the report. With that in mind, Konate has emerged as one of the targets for the 20-time English champions.
The report claims that Manchester United are currently just monitoring Konate and no advances have been made yet to sign him. Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Frenchman is valued at just £34 million, a figure that is unlikely to deter either United or Liverpool in his pursuit.
Meanwhile, it has previously been reported that Liverpool already have a verbal agreement to sign Konate and it will be interesting to see whether Manchester United can usurp them despite such an agreement. For now, it looks like the defending Premier League champions could face competition from their bitter rivals for the young centre-back.