Liverpool ‘phoned by RB Leipzig chief’ over £34m Ibrahima Konate transfer

Liverpool received a surprise phone call from RB Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff over their pursuit of defender Ibrahima Konate.

Konate, who is valued at around £34m, is on a five-man shortlist of centre-halves who could arrive at Anfield this summer.

The Reds have been open in their admiration of the 21-year-old, with some reports suggesting that a deal is almost done.

Those reports prompted Leipzig chief Mintzlaff to ring up his counterparts on Merseyside – and they had some surprising news for the German official.

According to SportBILD, Liverpool informed Mintzlaff and Leipzig they don't intend to go into market for Konate after all.

BILD's information suggests that although the Frenchman will likely depart the Bundesliga club this summer, 'his new club will not be Liverpool'.

Mintzlaff was reportedly told Konate is 'currently not an issue' for the club, suggesting a move to Anfield is now dead in the water.

Konate is one of Europe's most-sought after defenders and had been linked with a host of other top European clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea.

Despite his reputation, the Paris-born centre-half has fallen down the pecking order under Julian Nagelsmann, largely as a result of long-term injury problems.

He has made just 16 appearances so far this season, with six of those coming in the Champions League.

Liverpool boss Klopp has been coy over the pursuit of a new defender. "You know the situation with centre-halves out there," he told reporters in January.

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  • "You know the clubs where the centre-halves are playing, because everyone is talking about them. Tell me if one of these clubs needs the money and needs to sell a player?

    "And if they need money then they want crazy money."

    Klopp, who sanctioned the £75million signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in 2018, appears unlikely to break the bank in pursuit of a new centre-half anytime soon.

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