Manchester Unitedare considering rivalling Liverpool for the signature of RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate, according to reports.
Liverpool are reportedly closing in on the defender, with the Reds ready to activate a £34million release clause in the 21-year-old’s contract.
Jurgen Klopp is a huge admirer of the France U21 star and Konate is keen on moving to Anfield, where he would challenge Joe Gomez for the opportunity of partnering Virgil van Dijk next season.
But United are said to be considering challenging Liverpool for Konate as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have doubts over Eric Bailly’s long-term future at Old Trafford, according to Eurosport.
The Ivorian has a little over a year to run on his deal at the Theatre of Dreams and he is sceptical about the club’s motives behind recent contract negotiations.
Bailly fears the club only want him to sign a new contract in order to obtain a larger fee for him in the summer.
With negotiations at an impasse, United may be forced to cash in on Bailly and that would require the club to step up their search for a centre-back.
Konate is considered a viable replacement for Bailly, while United are keeping tabs on Raphael Varane’s situation at Real Madrid. Should United firm up their interest by triggering Konate’s release clause, then the Frenchman’s decision could hinge on the outcome of the remainder of the season.
United look certain to finish in the top four given they have an 11-point buffer on Chelsea in fifth and they could therefore offer Konate Champions League football
Dropped points from Leicester and Chelsea this weekend have reignited Liverpool’s belief that they can finish in the top four, with Klopp’s side currently three points behind West Ham. Liverpool trail Real Madrid 3-1 heading into the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.