Man Utd linked with challenging Liverpool for Konate amid Bailly concerns

Manchester United are being linked with challenging Liverpool for the signing of RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, amid concerns over the future of Eric Bailly.

Bailly has been plagued by injuries since signing for the club in a £30m deal from Villarreal in 2016, making just 12 league appearances over the past two seasons, his continued misfortune with injury having seen him fail to build on the potential shown in his debut campaign.

The 26-year-old has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season and has shown signs of forming a promising partnership with Harry Maguire at centre-back, and it has been reported that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s continued preference of Victor Lindelof has left the defender frustrated.

Bailly will have just a year remaining on his contract this summer and Inter Milan are understood to be monitoring his situation ahead of a potential move, with United considering centre-back targets in the event the Ivory Coast international leaves this summer.

According to Eurosport, one name on the club’s radar is Konate, who recent reports have suggested is in talks over a summer move to Liverpool with the Reds prepared to meet the 21-year-old’s €40m release clause.

The France U21 international has impressed as the latest starlet to emerge at Leipzig with his performances having attracted significant interest, Liverpool currently deciding on whether to pursue a move for the youngster ahead of the permanent signing of loanee Ozan Kabak.

Konate’s injury record will concern, however, with the defender having missed plenty of football over the past two campaigns, making just 10 Bundesliga starts amid a succession of fitness issues.

Other names reported to be on the United’s transfer wish-list include Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Villarreal defender Pau Torres, the signing of a new centre-back high on the club’s list of priorities should Bailly choose to leave in search of more regular opportunities.

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