The sporting director of RB Leipzig has poured cold water on the rumours that Ibrahima Konate could leave them for Liverpool.
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 youth international could add to their options.
Konate has struggled for playing time with Leipzig this season due to injury issues. But when fit, he is one of the most promising centre-backs in the Bundesliga.
It was claimed by The Athletic that Liverpool were in talks to sign the player. However, those reports seem to be wide of the mark.
Indeed, Leipzig director Markus Krosche has now told Liverpool that Konate has 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 and he is 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, so I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.”
It had been thought that Liverpool could secure his signature for £34m. It seems they would have to offer much more to give Leipzig a decision to make, though.
Konate has only made nine appearances in the Bundesliga this season, but the 21-year-old still has a big future. Now, it is most likely that his immediate future will remain with Leipzig.
Konate was avoiding rumours
The player himself recently issued a blunt response of his own to the transfer talk.
Currently at the under-21 European Championships with France, Konate has made it clear that he is not focusing on his club future.
“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.”