After getting linked with one Leipzig centre back already in Dayot Upamecano, it would appear that Chelsea are also taking a serious look at his defensive partner, Ibrahima Konaté.
According to the Independent, the Blues will battle against the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool for the 21-year-old’s signature. The Red Devils are said to be particularly interested, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer viewing him as their main centre back target in the summer after seemingly admitting defeat to Bayern Munich over Upamecano.
Konate now looking a central defensive option for United (and Liverpool and Chelsea), with Bayern leading on Upamecanohttps://t.co/mq9RR5lOl3— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) February 8, 2021
Konaté has made 12 appearances for RB Leipzig this season, and is just the latest in a long line of young, talented defenders to have come out of France — though the France U21 international is more of a no-nonsense old-school defender in the mold of Diego Godin or Nemanja Vidic (and Kurt Zouma), rather than the modern ball-playing trend. Some rate him even higher than Upamecano, but his injury history is a bit concerning. He’s missed 46 games due to injuries in his young career already.
Chelsea’s primary centre back target appears to (still? again?) be David Alaba, however, as the Telegraph reports, the Bayern Munich defender will need to lower his wage demands significantly for Chelsea to truly consider signing him.
Alaba apparently wants to be paid £20m per year, which is just short of £400,000 per week, and this has already put off several parties. And that salary would be £100,000 per week higher than what Chelsea’s top-earner, N’Golo Kanté gets, which makes it eminently unlikely that he will be coming to the Blue side of London as well. (Although two overlapping center-backs on either side of Thiago Silva would be pretty cool!)