Ibrahima Konate may have ruled out any imminent push to make a move to Paris Saint-Germain, but the sheer mention of his “dream” to play for the Ligue 1 outfit will cause genuine concern for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. The Reds have been slowly rebuilding their squad in recent transfer windows with the last being largely focussed on their midfield unit.
The year prior saw Klopp revolutionise his attacking option with the arrivals of Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo. Next year will likely be focused on making some changes in defence with Joel Matip out of contract and Joe Gomez’s future under question.
Virgil van Dijk will also turn 33 years old next summer and a replacement will be needed. Klopp may feel he already has an ideal successor to Van Dijk in the form of Konate, who has enjoyed a strong start to his career at Anfield.
Putting his fitness record aside, Konate has emerged as one of Europe’s brightest young defenders and his best years are yet to come. On paper, Konate might be the only centre-back currently at the club who would viably be seen as part of Liverpool’s present and long-term future.
However, Konate would have undoubtedly raised some concerns for Liverpool’s hierarchy with his recent comments. When asked whether he had ever imagined himself donning the PSG jersey one day, Konate told Canal Plus: “It I said no, I’d be lying.
“But if you’re asking is it one of my objectives? Not at all.” That final point gives Liverpool and Klopp some breathing space for now, but things can change very quickly in football.
Liverpool have been stung before by players ruling out an imminent exit, only to leave the club months later. Sadio Mane once claimed he wanted to stay at Liverpool “forever” before pushing to leave in 2022 for Bayern Munich.
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Philippe Coutinho also insisted he would honour his contract at Liverpool before Barcelona convinced him to push for an exit months later in a blockbuster transfer. PSG have shown no indication that they are currently interested in signing Konate, but the 24-year-old will likely be on their radar.
Marquinhos, Milan Skriniar, Lucas Hernandez and Presnel Kimpembe are the current options at centre-back for PSG manager Luis Enrique, all of whom are in their peak years. They’ll soon have their eyes on potential successors to the quartet and France international Konate may be one option they could consider.
Liverpool signed the Frenchman back in 2021 for £36million with the hope he would undoubtedly become a key part of their future. But his recent comments will certainly put Liverpool on red alert heading into next year when they shift their focus to rebuilding their defensive unit.
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