Ibrahima Konate rates chances of earth-shattering Liverpool transfer | Football | Sport

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Ibrahima Konate has played down the chances of his France team-mate Kylian Mbappe joining him at Liverpool next season. The centre-back has teased Mbappe will join Real Madrid after the news emerged that the forward will leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer after six seasons.

Mbappe has established himself as one of the finest attackers in Europe and has produced 243 goals and 105 assists in 290 PSG appearances. But the 25-year-old wants to leave at the end of the season, when he will become a free agent.

That he is available without the need for a transfer fee has prompted a conversation as to whether any Premier League clubs will try to sign him in an earth-shattering deal. Mbappe has long been expected to join Real Madrid, who have made several failed attempts to prise him out of Paris.

Liverpool have long been linked with the World Cup winner after trying to sign him when he departed Monaco in 2018. But Konate told Canal+: “In all honesty, do you really think he’s going to come here? I think we all know where he’s going. We don’t even think about him in this team and I won’t even try to bring him here.”

That is a clear hint Mbappe is indeed headed for the Bernabeu. Konate was speaking after helping the Reds to beat Brentford 4-1 on Saturday afternoon, with goals from Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo securing the full three points in London.

Konate’s comments come after Klopp said it would be a surprise if Liverpool signed Mbappe. The German manager has little say in the matter given he will depart at the end of the season but thinks the finances involved will price most clubs out of any deal.

But he said: “Obviously, I’m not involved in that, but I can tell you I’d be surprised if all the top clubs were [in for him]. The top clubs I know, for most of them it will be tricky – wages, signing-on fee.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said this week that Arsenal should be “in the conversation” for Mbappe but likewise conceded that it appears the Frenchman – who according to reports costs PSG more than £1m a week – is headed elsewhere.

“I’m not. Maybe Edu and the owners are but I’m not involved until the last stage,” the Spaniard said when asked if he was in the conversation for Mbappe. “Why not? If we want to be the best team, then you need to have the best players, that’s for sure.

“When there is a player of that calibre, we always have to be in that conversation. But it looks in a different way, that’s what I would say.

“At least with the players we’ve discussed, they’ve always had a smile on their face when you open the door to that discussion. That’s because of our history and everything we’ve done in the past.”

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