Bundesliga side RB Leipzig have confirmed the presence of a release clause in Ibrahima Konate’s contract, amid continued speculation regarding a move to Liverpool this summer.
The Frenchman is one of a number of young stars to have caught the eye in Julian Nagelsmann’s side in recent years, having originally joined the club from Sochaux as a teenager back in 2017.
After a promising first two campaigns for the German side – including featuring 43 times in all competitions in the 2018/19 season – the 21-year-old has found regular game time hard to come by in recent times, injuries restricting him to just 21 league appearances in the last two seasons.
That lack of minutes appears not to have put off potential suitors, with Jurgen Klopp’s side rumoured to be keen on making a move for him this summer, the player having previously been linked to rivals Manchester United.
The pacy and powerful defender looks set to follow Bayern Munich-bound teammate Dayot Upamecano out the exit door at the end of the season, his release clause believed to be around £34 million.
Amid uncertainty surrounding his future, Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff admitted that the club are keen to keep the defender, but concedes the club are not ‘in the drivers seat’ given the presence of a release clause.
“We’ll see what happens. I spoke to him this week”, Mintzlaff is quoted telling 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.”
Liverpool have endured something of a defensive crisis this season, with first-choice defenders Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk having missed the majority of the campaign through injury, as too has back-up centre-back Joel Matip.
Even with those men all set to return next season, Klopp’s men appear in need of bolstering their defensive ranks, despite having signed Preston defender Ben Davies in the January transfer window, as well as also having an option to buy current loanee Ozan Kabak.