Ibrahima Konate has denied that he or is agent has been in contact with Liverpool over a summer transfer, despite claims from a reliable source to the contrary.
A report in The Athletic last month claimed that the Reds were “at an advanced stage” in negotiations over a deal to bring the RB Leipzig defender to Anfield.
David Ornstein claimed that Liverpool were “in the process of finalising a deal” for the 21-year-old centre-back.
That would have meant Liverpool triggering the centre-back’s €40m release clause.
Fabrizio Romano backed up those claims by saying that Liverpool “are in talks with the agent”, while RMC Sport also suggested a deal was in progress.
However, Ornstein and Co. may well have jumped the gun because Konate has himself rubbished the talk and said there has been no contact with Jurgen Klopp’s men.
“I or my agents didn’t get a call from Liverpool. I also have big goals with RB Leipzig: These are currently the best possible results in the Bundesliga, reaching the cup final and the U21 European Championship with France.”
Leipzig team-mate Dayot Upamecano, who was linked with a number of clubs including Liverpool, will move to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in the summer.
When asked if he is Upamecano’s ‘legitimate successor’, Konate added: “No, I don’t want to be Dayot’s successor. I’m me. We both came to Leipzig in 2017 and played well together here. Unfortunately, our paths are now parting. I’ll give Dayot the new job and continue doing my thing here.”
Asked if he could ‘reassure the fans’ that he will be at Leipzig next season, Konate added: “I have a contract until 2023. And contracts are there to fulfil.”
Liverpool dampen down transfer expectations
Meanwhile, Liverpool may not be able to sign both Ozan Kabak and Konaté in this summer’s transfer window, unless star names leave Anfield to free up funds.
TEAMtalk understands RB Leipzig defender Konaté is at the top of a list of potential targets for Liverpool, despite no concrete contact thus far.
While RB Leipzig chiefs are keen to hang on to Konaté, they are expecting the defender who has suffered with injury problems this season to leave due to the relatively modest release clause in his current deal.
Yet it has emerged that any hopes Klopp had of signing both Konaté and Turkish defender Kabak may be curtailed by financial considerations.
Kabak has impressed during a loan spell from Schalke and Liverpool could look to make his temporary move permanent this summer, with a fee of around £18million set by the Bundesliga strugglers.