RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has spoken about the future of Ibrahima Konate following speculation linking the defender with a move to Liverpool.
The France Under-21 international has emerged as a key player at the Bundesliga club in recent years, helping to establish them as a leading side in the division and a Champions League semi-final last season.
Konate joined Leipzig in the summer of 2017 from Sochaux and has developed into one of Europe’s most promising central defenders in the years since.
He has been strongly linked with a move to Anfield this summer and whilst a deal has yet to be concluded, there is an increasingly strong possibility the switch will be made.
The Reds have been heavily depleted in the central defensive area this year with long-term injuries to Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
A decision has yet to be made on the long-term future of Ozan Kabak - who joined on loan from Schalke in January - while Ben Davies, Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams are also involved in the first-team squad.
While Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have also been deployed in the position this season, the preference is for them to solely be used in their natural positions in midfield next campaign.
Bolstering the central defence is likely to be high on the priority list for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season and Konate has emerged as a leading candidate.
However, the RB Leipzig chief has tried to cool such reports that a deal is close and reiterated his club’s desire to retain the player for next season.
Mintzlaff told Sky Deutschland, as per the Liverpool Echo : “We’ll see what happens. I spoke to him this week.
“No decision has been made yet.
“There is an exit clause. That’s why we don’t sit in the driver’s seat.
“He is a player we want to keep.”