Chelsea have emerged in pole position to sign Manchester United target Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, according to reports in Germany.
Konate has impressed at the heart of Leipzig's defence this season, though his minutes have been limited by two separate injury blows.
The 21-year-old has racked up 88 senior appearances for the Bundesliga club and is a regular for France at Under-21 level.
Many Premier League clubs are keen on the promising centre-back with Arsenal and Liverpool also monitoring the situation closely.
But Chelsea have entered the race for Konate and hold an advantage over their rivals due to an existing connection with the player.
That's according to Bild , which notes a member of Blues boss Thomas Tuchel's staff – assistant coach Zsolt Low – knows Konate well.
Zsolt served as an assistant at Leipzig for three years and witnessed Konate's debut season in Germany after he arrived from Sochaux in 2017.
Though Zsolt left to join Tuchel's team at Paris Saint-Germain in 2018, he remains in contact with Konate.
Do Chelsea need to sign a new defender this summer? Have your say in the comments.
The Blues assistant could play a vital role in convincing the centre-back to move to Stamford Bridge ahead of what is expected be a busy summer of interest in his services.
With Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano joining Bayern Munich and Real Madrid leading the race to sign David Alaba, Chelsea's search for a new face in defence has been fruitless so far.
Konate is believed to have a £38million release from the contract he signed in 2019, which runs for another two-and-a-half years.
This means any club will be free to enter talks with the player and his representatives if they stump up that sum, so Chelsea's personal connection my prove key to fending off their rivals' interest to land their target.
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.
Source: Read Full Article