RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate will be a major target for Liverpool this summer as Jurgen Klopp looks to rebuild his squad, according to a report from Sunday World.
The report claims the Reds see the 21-year-old as a ‘key target’ who would jump at the chance to play for Klopp, with the owners willing to press ahead with plans to fund a minor squad overhaul.
Having ended a three-decade wait for Premier League glory last season, Klopp’s side have been more or less decimated at times this term with the defensive department the worst affected.
Despite signing Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies on deadline day, the Reds are expected to further bolster their options during the summer.
Konate, who the report cites as one of the best young central defenders around, could be available for £34million – in line with his £31.5m market value (Transfermarkt).
A France Under 21 international, Konate was touted as being ‘good enough for Real Madrid or Barcelona’ by former boss Ralf Rangnick and has played 15 times in all competitions this season for the Bundesliga side.
Whilst clearly talented and possessing all of the attributes to become a top-class defender, there remains one glaring worry – his injury record.
The Paris-born 6’3 defender watched on from the bench as Liverpool overcame RB Leipzig 2-0 in Budapest last week, having recently returned from yet another lengthy injury layoff.
Having missed 15 games this season and 30 last, Klopp and co must have serious reservations over the youngster’s longevity.
Although those problems could well prove to be isolated incidents and he could go on to have a long injury-free career, the Reds hierarchy would need some serious reassurances.
Having pulled out of a deal to sign Nabil Fekir in 2018 due to a knee issue, it’s unlikely the club would take a risk.