The rumor mill pumped out a juicy tidbit this morning, suggesting that Liverpool, a club in desperate need of central defenders, were in the final stages of signing RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate, who happens to be a fine young central defender.
However, the German club has quickly come out to shut down the rumors, with Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche giving remarks to Stats Perform News:
“I can’t say anything on that topic,” Krosche said on the likelihood of an Anfield move happening. “I think that this is not an option for Ibu.
“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 longer injury but this year he is in a good way and he is an extremely important player that has a lot of potential.
“We want to help him to further develop, and we play internationally, have a very good team, so I don’t see a reason for him to leave us.”
On the surface it would appear to be a disappointing slap down for Liverpool supporters as it is possible to have in the transfer game, especially considering that the French U21 international is tied to Leipzig through 2023.
However, such thinking would ignore the fact that the rumored €40m release clause in the 21-year-old’s contract does not need the selling club’s blessing to be activated. Liverpool has a healthy working relationship with the Red Bull sporting apparatus and negotiations would need to be conducted in such a manner as to preserve that goodwill for future deals.
That said, the Reds are the ones with the leverage here and it is too early to write this particular transfer off just yet.