top target Ibrahima Konate the big transfer prize as Liverpool and Manchester United weigh up bids
RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate is set to emerge as one of the most wanted men in European football this summer, with sources close to the player suggesting Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea are all chasing his signature.
Konate has caught the eye in Leipzig's emergence as a big force in European football, with the 21-year-old Frenchman shining alongside his fellow Frenchman Dayot Upamecano in the Bundesliga this season.
Upamecano was also linked with moves to Liverpool and United, but it has now been confirmed that he will seal a move to Bayern Munich ahead of next season, with the deal confirmed by the German champions on Friday.
"We have an agreement for Upamecano. I can, and we are very happy about that at FC Bayern," said the Bavarian club's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.
"We had very good, intensive and professional discussions with Dayot and his agent Volker Struth over many months. We knew that we had very strong competition."
With Upamecano seemingly destined to sign for Bayern after talks progressed at the start of January, United insiders made it clear that they would not be considering a bid for the centre-back in December.
Now sources suggest the Old Trafford club have turned their attention to Konate, with Liverpool and Chelsea also believed to have made initial enquires over a possible deal.
With big-money offers now certain to be on the table for Konate, Liverpool will need to highlight their transfer ambition if they are to land the Frenchman and recent experience suggests they may struggle to make the offers Chelsea and United could make.
Liverpool were in talks to sign striker Timo Werner from Leipzig last summer, but they could not match the offer Chelsea made to the German striker and they could face a similar fate in the race to sign Konate unless their owners change their transfer policy.
Read John Aldridge's verdict on Liverpool's latest defeat against Leicester in this weekend's Sunday World newspaper.
Download the Sunday World app
- How and why are so many penalties being conceded this Premier League season?
- Jurgen Klopp hopes competition change can give Liverpool break from league form
- Whatâ€™s gone wrong at Liverpool and can they save their season?
- Gareth Bale: Tottenham will take on Arsenal with confidence
- Ralph Hasenhuttl hopes to have Danny Ings back in three weeks
- Society of Editors blasts Harry and Meghan racism claims
- Ireland weather: Met Eireann issue wind warning for 7 counties ahead of 110km/h gusts
- Oprah Winfrey surprised Harry and Meghan spoke about racist royal comment
- Man, 30s, killed in crash involving car and lorry in Strokestown, Co Roscommon
- Woman facing prison time over air rage incident at Belfast Airport