Real Madrid are weighing up a swoop for Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konate.
The France international has earned plenty of plaudits for his performances in Merseyside red since joining Jurgen Klopp’s team from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2021.
Konate ended his debut season at Anfield with an FA Cup and EFL Cup winners’ medal, scoring three goals and providing one assist in 29 appearances across all tournaments.
Konate only made 11 Premier League appearances as he competed with Joel Matip for a spot in Klopp’s backline, and injuries have restricted him to a mere four matches this term.
Nevertheless, the 23-year-old was included in France’s squad for the 2022 World Cup and made five appearances at the tournament, including a start in their semi-final win over Morocco.
Liverpool have Konate under contract at Anfield until the end of the 2025-26 season, but according to Mediafoot, Real Madrid are considering a move for the ex-Leipzig man in the summer.
The report states that Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer of Konate’s qualities and has informed the board of his desire to bring the defender to the Bernabeu for the 2023-24 season.
Ancelotti is seemingly spearheading Real Madrid’s pursuit of Konate, and the Champions League winners are hopeful that the lure of the Spanish capital and Los Blancos’ financial power can make a deal possible.
However, Liverpool would likely be reluctant to let Konate leave to their upcoming Champions League opponents, who already have a number of options in the heart of the backline.
David Alaba, Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, Antonio Rudiger and Jesus Vallejo are all competing for minutes under Ancelotti, although Nacho has now entered the final six months of his contract.
Furthermore, Vallejo is still waiting for his first La Liga appearance of the season and does not appear to have a future at the Bernabeu since the arrival of Rudiger, who joined as a free agent from Chelsea in the summer.
Rudiger and Aurelien Tchouameni were Los Blancos’ only two acquisitions in the most recent window, and Ancelotti does not expect his side to bolster their squad in the winter market.
“We won’t be signing anyone because the squad is well constructed. In terms of exits, we don’t know,” Ancelotti told the media last week.
“Some of the players who play less might look to go somewhere where they’d play more. But, there won’t be any incomings.”
Konate was back on the bench for Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Leicester City on Friday following the World Cup, and he could now return to the starting lineup for Monday’s clash with Brentford.
Liverpool sit sixth in the Premier League table with 28 points from 16 games but will leapfrog Tottenham Hotspur into the top five should they beat Thomas Frank’s men at the Gtech Community Stadium.