Report: Chelsea in contact with £34m rated talent who is a 'little bit of Virgil van Dijk'

Chelsea have been in contact with RB Leipzig about the possible transfer of Ibrahima Konate, according to ESPN.

Konate is currently undergoing major scrutiny from Liverpool as the Premier League champions look to strengthen their fragile defence.

The 21-year-old centre-back hasn’t featured too frequently for Leipzig this season, amassing just 15 appearances in all competitions.

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However, Konate is thought of very highly around Anfield and they are apparently leading the race to sign him.


Guido Schafer, a former teammate of Jurgen Klopp and now a journalist who covers Leipzig, compared him to one of the Reds current superstars.

“He is tall, fast, good technique and he is a little bit of Virgil van Dijk,” Schafer said on the Under the Radar podcast.

This will certainly have piqued Liverpool’s interest, as will the €40 (£34m) asking price for Konate’s services.  

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But they are not the only English titans to have weighed in on the debate for the France Under-21 international.

ESPN state that both Chelsea and Manchester United have made contact with the Bundesliga club about their in-demand defender.

This would keep in line with the Blues’ mode of thinking about buying a new centre-half.

They have already been linked to numerous high-shelf names, including Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez, Bayern Munich’s Niklas Sule, and Konate himself (The Athletic).

Chelsea’s rear-guard has been remarkably watertight since Thomas Tuchel took over, leading to questions whether the teams needs anymore defensive options.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have been men reborn, with Cesar Azpilicueta also rolling back the years.

Erling Haaland remains as top priority for the Blues. Secure the striking sensation and they may start to work backwards down field when signing new players.

The Chelsea Chronicle View

I know very little of Konate and I’m not sure I want to know much more.

He’s obviously very talented and it can’t just be a fluke that Liverpool wants him, but I feel Chelsea can push the boat out a little further in their recruitment.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.