Premier League • England

Liverpool ace under attack from Real Madrid with two ‘strong’ signs pointing towards crippling exit

Liverpool stars Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate and Luis Diaz

A Liverpool star Jurgen Klopp simply cannot afford to lose is in Real Madrid’s sights, with a report claiming there’s two ‘strong’ reasons why a damaging move in 2023 could occur.

Liverpool have slowly but surely begun to regenerate a squad that had the feeling of coming to the end of its cycle. Luis Diaz has replaced Sadio Mane on the left wing, while the addition of Cody Gakpo will ensure Klopp has two high class options on his left side for years to come.

Youngsters Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott are bubbling away nicely, while Darwin Nunez is earmarked as the long-term successor to Roberto Firmino.

Centre-half has also been addressed, with Ibrahima Konate impressing mightily upon arriving from RB Leipzig 18 months ago.

The France international, 23, has been made to bide his time when it comes to Premier League starts. Klopp still prefers the tried and tested pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, though both players are now 31.

Konate is already at the level required to be a starter for virtually all other Premier League sides. He can count himself a little unlucky he doesn’t start more often for the Reds, though Liverpool have got their ducks in a row early and he’ll slot straight in as a regular starter when the time comes.

Liverpool’s future business is expected to revolve around refreshing their midfield ranks. Jude Bellingham is their primary target and won’t come cheap.

As such, Liverpool can well do without having to splash the cash in other areas, but according to French outlet MediaFoot, that’s exactly what could transpire.

Real Madrid targeting Konate

They report Real Madrid are mulling a move for Konate at season’s end. The defensive colossus reportedly has an ‘exceptional’ fan in Los Blancos boss, Carlo Ancelotti.

Konate’s physicality, technical ability and tactical nous are all hailed in the piece. He’s deemed the perfect fit for Real whose own defensive corps are aging. Ex-Chelsea favourite Antonio Rudiger will turn 30 in March, while David Alaba is already 30.

It’s acknowledged Liverpool view Konate as the successor-in-waiting to Van Dijk. He’ll likely displace Matip in the starting eleven first, but Konate will then become the leader at the back when Van Dijk’s time is up.

A deal therefore won’t be easy to make, especially with Konate under contract at Anfield until 2026. However, the report claims two ‘strong’ reasons give Real Madrid hope.

Liverpool could struggle to fend Real away?

Firstly, the lure of playing for the 14-times European Cup/Champions League winners is stated.

While it’s true to say playing for one of Spain’s big two is often a huge draw for South American players, it remains to be seen what level of pull they’d have for Frenchman Konate.

Secondly, it’s claimed Real have huge resources they’re prepared to unleash next summer and as such, can table both a high bid as well as pay colossal wages.

In the article’s eyes, the ‘madness’ of Liverpool selling someone they rate so highly is in fact, ‘possible’.

It goes without stating Liverpool would do all they can to retain a player of Konate’s calibre.

Losing him would open up a giant hole in their centre-back plans that would need filling and detract from their dealings in more pressing positions elsewhere, most notably central midfield.

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