Chelsea place RB Leipzig's Ibrahima Konaté on shortlist of defensive options ahead of the summer

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Chelsea have identified RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konaté as a target in an attempt to soldify their backline in the summer transfer window.

Konaté, 21, has been on the radar of some of Europe's top clubs in recent weeks after number-one target Dayot Upamecano confirmed his move to Bayern Munich on a five-year deal earlier this month.

As per German journalist and transfer expert Christian Falk, Konaté has been shortlisted as an option to bolster Chelsea's defensive options in the summer. 

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Despite making 43 appearances across all competitions for Leipzig last season, Konaté has featured just 14 times for his side this campaign after suffering an ankle injury in December.

The 6'3 tall defender, whose has over two years left on his current deal with the German outfit, has been tipped to become one of the best defenders of his generation after turning heads with his displays alongside Upamecano in the Bundesliga during the previous two campaigns.

Konaté has also drawn interest from Manchester United and Liverpool, with both heavyweight clubs having struggled with personnel issues at the back this campaign.

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The Red Devils have been monitoring the Frenchman's progress for a while, identifying him as a long-term solution to their recurring centre-back issues.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer considers Konaté as the man to partner club captain Harry Maguire at the heart of defence in the years to come as United plan to recruit and challenge the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title.

Liverpool have also shown interest in the young centre-half but having reinforced their backline with the acquisitions of Ben Davies [permanent transfer] and Ozan Kabak [loan till end of the season] on the last day of the January transfer window, they will assess their requirements at the back in the coming months.

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