Liverpool remain focused and confident of signing Ibrahima Konate this summer after reports in the French media claimed the defender has already completed part of his medical ahead of the transfer.
Reports emerged at the start of this week claiming that Liverpool were in advanced negotiations for Konate. The Reds have been looking for defensive reinforcements ever since January and the French U21 international appears to fit the bill. With a £35.4m exit clause in his contract, Liverpool won’t have to negotiate with Leipzig were they to trigger that amount.
However, claims that Konate was Anfield bound took a backwards step on Tuesday morning. That’s after Leipzig director Markus Krosche informed Liverpool that Konate had “no reason to make the move”.
“I think that this is not an option for Ibu,” Krosche said.
“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. He’s 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. I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.”
Krosche’s claims though appear to be too late to prevent the deal going through. As such, respected French outlet RMC Sports claims the Reds remain fully focused on securing the defender’s signature.
Furthermore, they emphatically state that Liverpool have already conducted parts of the defender’s medical in Paris. For his part, Konate is said to have passed these with flying colours, despite his ongoing injury issues.
Liverpool are right to stay cautious over the signing given previous failures, such as Nabil Fekir. To that point, there is yet to be any official word coming out of Anfield about the prospective signing.
However, supporters will be encouraged by the reports claiming Konate has at least passed a portion of his medical. This tallies with David Ornstein’s claims on Monday that sporting director Michael Edwards is “in the process of finalising the deal”.
Konate refusing to comment on Liverpool talk
The 21-year-old is currently with France’s Under-21 squad and is putting his focus on his country.
“I woke up, I saw my phone ringing all over the place,” the centre-back told L’Equipe.
“I just wanted to tell them, ‘Hey, I played yesterday, I’m tired, leave me alone’.
“Frankly, I don’t even look at 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.”
Konate played the full 90 minutes on Sunday as France beat Russia in their second Group C match.
Les Blues sit second behind Denmark after losing their opener to Denmark.