Manchester United linked to RB Leipzig’s 19-year-old French central defender


Manchester United has reportedly been linked with RB Leipzig central defender Ibrahima Konaté according to reports. Euro United, translated by Sport Witness has linked the 19-year-old French youth international with United, Liverpool and Arsenal ahead of the busy summer transfer window.

All three teams will need some strengthening in the central defensive ranks, although United are still linked to Matthijs de Ligt, although personally, I believe the player will sign for Barcelona in the long run. However, United will have other targets and Konaté could be one of them.

The reports first materialised heavily linking Liverpool to the player, suggesting they may have to fight off both United and Arsenal, seemingly suggesting that it was a problem with their choice of words. It could be a case of the media just adding Manchester United into reports, so they carried weight, also having the ability to report that United missed out on the target, if/when he signs for another club.

The 19-year-old signed for Leipzig from Sochaux in 2017 in a deal said to be worth €270,000 with the contract running until the summer of 2023. If United are in fact interested in Konaté he would be a relatively cheap option and will fit in with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s philosophy of signing young and talented players who can develop at the club.

Arsenal may be out of luck with Unai Emery’s small budget for the summer, meaning both United and Liverpool may have to fight it out on their own, if the player was interested in moving to the Premier League. I feel United will need some experience at the back. Personally, and I am not on my own here, I see both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as liabilities more often than not. Victor Lindelof needs a player to form a partnership with this summer.

The 19-year-old probably will not be the player to link up with Lindelof and United might actually have a player capable of doing that in Axel Tuanzebe, who will return to United this summer after a successful loan spell with Aston Villa, who face Derby County in the Championship playoff final at Wembley on Monday. However, if a player like Marcos Rojo was to leave United, space could be available in the squad for another defender.

The Frenchman made a total of 43 appearances for Leipzig during the past season, scoring three goals, assisting another, playing 3,584 minutes of football. He was booked nine times in all competitions. At 6ft4, he could become a player capable of helping his teammates in defence and the fact he has been able to score goals is beneficial, however, a step up to the Premier League from the Bundesliga might mean that does not happen.

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