Konate excludes exit from RB Leipzig


Ibrahima Konate denies Liverpool’s talks and commits the future to RB Leipzig

RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate has denied Liverpool have contacted either him or his representatives despite reports suggesting a deal is nearing completion.

Jurgen Klopp’s back line has been decimated by injuries this season and the club was forced to dive into the transfer market in January in an attempt to strengthen its defensive alternatives.

Ibrahima Konate has denied having any contact with Liverpool Christian Kaspar-Bartke / Getty Images

Both Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies arrived at Anfield in the middle of the season window – with the latter not yet making a single appearance for the Reds – although Klopp would say to further strengthen his arsenal with the signing of Konate this summer.

However, when asked about a possible move, the Frenchman claimed that no contact had been made and that he intended to complete the remaining two years on his deal with RB Leipzig,

“There are often rumors in football and many people believe them immediately,” he told BILD. “I or my agents did not receive a call from Liverpool. I also have big goals with RB Leipzig. These are currently the best possible result in the Bundesliga, when they reach the cup final and the European Championship under 21 with France.

“I have a contract until 2023 and contracts exist to fulfill them.”

Konate says that no contact has been made by Jurgen Klopp or Liverpool Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

The 21-year-old’s importance to RB Leipzig will grow further next season when star defender Dayot Upamecano retires to Bundesliga rival Bayern Munich.

Konate was asked if he saw himself as the natural successor to Upamecano at the club, but he refused to draw any similarities between the couple.

“I do not want to be Dayot’s successor – I am me,” he said. “We both came to Leipzig in 2017 and played well together here. Unfortunately, our paths are different now. I give Dayot the new job and continue to do my things here.”

Konate has had to overcome a number of serious injuries in the last two years and has since made just 12 Bundesliga starts in just under two seasons.

After making his first appearance in start XI in the victory against Werder Bremen earlier this month, Konate said that it felt good to be back this week – but admitted that it will take him some time to regain focus.

“Only on PlayStation are players in shape again so quickly after an injury and at their old level,” he said. “I’m fine, but I need a few more weeks to be able to call up my full performance.”

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