RB Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche has dismissed reports suggesting centre-back Ibrahima Konate is close to joining Liverpool.
News broke on Monday stating Liverpool were in advanced negotiations with the 21-year-old defender and were close to sealing a deal to bring the in-demand defender over to Anfield this summer.
However, speaking to Stats Perform News (via Sky Sports News), Krosche did his best to pour cold water on the speculation, suggesting that a move to Anfield isn't in the defender's plans.
"I think that this is not an option for Ibu," Krosche said. "He has a long contract with us and he knows what we mean to him and what he means to us.
"He was unlucky last year as he had a long-term injury but this year he is developing well and he is an extremely important player that has a lot of potential.
"We want to help him to develop further, and we play in Europe and have a very good team, so I don't see a reason for him to leave us."
Unfortunately for Krosche, there's not exactly much he can do to stop this one. If Liverpool can reach an agreement over personal terms with Konate, they can opt to trigger his release clause of around £35m and bypass negotiations with Leipzig altogether.
Sky in Germany believe that Konate is frustrated in Leipzig after losing his spot in Julian Nagelsmann's starting lineup. Injuries have prevented the 21-year-old from picking up any real momentum, but since his return from an ankle injury in February, he has managed just 40 minutes of action across three Bundesliga appearances.
There's reason to suggest that Konate might want out, but the France Under-21 international told L'Equipe (who have also confirmed the advanced negotiations with Liverpool) that he is paying no attention to any of the rumours and he is simply focused on performing for Les Bleuets.
"I woke up, I saw my phone ringing all over the place, I just wanted to tell them 'Hey, I played yesterday, I'm tired, leave me alone'," Konate said.
"Frankly, I don't even watch this. We can't focus on that, there is the Euros and then my return to the club. You have to focus on that and not on the external things "
Source : 90min