Reports suggested Liverpool were on the verge of signing Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig last month, but it appears the German side have thrown a spanner in the works.
Konate had, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, agreed personal terms with the Frenchman ahead of a €40million move.
And Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff opened up on Konate’s future following his side’s 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final.
“We’ll see what happens. I spoke to him this week”, Mintzlaff told Sky Deutschland.
“No decision has been made yet. There is an exit clause. That’s why we don’t sit in the driver’s seat. He is a player we want to keep.”
But Kicker (via Sport Witness) claim Leipzig are in fact working on a new contract for the centre-back to prevent him moving to Anfield.
The report says the Bundesliga side want his future ‘clarified’ by the end of May, so they can prepare a list of summer targets should they need to replace him.
They are already said to have finalised new contracts with Emil Forsberg, Peter Gulacsi and Willi Orban this month and are now drawing up the paperwork for Konate.
The 21-year-old has a contract until 2023, with his release clause set at €40million, but Leipzig are ‘seeking a contract extension’ like the one they’ve agreed with Gulacsi, with a salary increase and removal of that clause.
Konate has thus far remained tight-lipped over rumours of his potential move to Anfield.
“There are often rumours in football and many believe them immediately,” he said.
“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.”
Dayot Upamecano, who was linked to numerous clubs around Europe including Liverpool, will complete a 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.”
When asked if he could ‘reassure the fans’ that he will be at Leipzig next season, Konate continued: “I have a contract until 2023. And contracts are there to fulfil.”