May 2, 2020
Manchester United are reportedly in talks with the agent of RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate regarding a summer transfer. The player’s representative has apparently approached the Old Trafford club about the 20-year-olds availability, despite the player missing around 28 matches for the club with a muscle tear injury.
Despite missing much of the season, Konate did play twice in the clubs UEFA Champions League campaign this season, at least the opening two group stage matches. He also played in the first five Bundesliga fixtures of the season and in the first round of the DFB-Pokal. In total, he made eight appearances, playing 654 minutes of football before his injury.
French news source, Le 10 Sport reported on the matter earlier on Saturday, which seems to suggest that United are seeking at least one central defender, despite the fact the agent approached the club. Perhaps United have been scouting the player in the past with the agent seeking to find out whether the club are interested in him still.
Konate signed for RB Leipzig in the summer of 2017, signing a five-year contract with the Bundesliga club. The player started his youth career playing for Paris FC, then came through the academy of French club Sochaux, playing for the B team in 2016 before making his debut for the first team the following year.
In total, at Sochaux, Konate made a total of 13 appearances, scoring one goal, playing 1,116 minutes of football at senior level. Whilst playing for Leipzig, the 20-year-old has made a total of 71 appearances, scoring three goals and one assist – playing a total of 5,859 minutes of football. The player is at a relatively early stage of his career and based on that a move to United would be a surprise.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to be seeking to build a squad to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City to wrestle the Premier League title back to where it belongs with up to four defenders expected to leave the club this summer, including Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Diogo Dalot.
United are also linked to Konate’s teammate, Dayot Upamecano, who would be more likely as a target because he has played well throughout the season, not sat on the sidelines through injury for the past six months or so, before the coronavirus pandemic stopped world football. Solskjaer might be seeking a bargain though and based on that, there could be something to see here.
If all four defenders previously stated do leave the Old Trafford club this summer, it would leave Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe as the club’s experiences central defenders, which may not be enough to carry them through the season. For that reason, Solskjaer could be seeking to sign. relatively unknown player.
Solskjaer seems to trust youth, whether they are already at the club or not. He wants to build his own team, with his own style of football, aiming to revolutionise a team that has fallen from grace over the last eight years or so. Konate is an exciting prospect in the Bundesliga and maybe, just maybe, something could work well here.