Ibrahima Konate rubbishes Kylian Mbappe to Liverpool talk

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate laughs off suggestions that the Reds are in the running to sign Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe this summer.

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has laughed off suggestions that Paris Saint-Germain‘s Kylian Mbappe could be joining the Reds in the summer transfer window.

Mbappe is now believed to have informed PSG that he plans to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season, bringing an end to the protracted saga surrounding his future in the French capital.

Real Madrid have long been regarded as the favourites to secure Mbappe’s services, and Los Blancos are now increasingly confident that the 25-year-old will finally arrive in the Spanish capital in the upcoming window.

However, as per the terms of a gentleman’s agreement with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Mbappe is yet to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club and firstly needs to negotiate the terms of his exit with the Ligue 1 champions.

Unless the former Monaco starlet springs a surprise by joining a club in Saudi Arabia, he will need to take a monumental hit on his wages – believed to be in the region of €200m (£171m) a year – to continue in the colours of another European heavyweight.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe on December 17, 2023© Reuters

While Real are expected to get a deal over the line, they are believed to be offering Mbappe lower wages than they did back in 2022, when the France international snubbed Los Blancos to sign his most recent contract extension with PSG.

As a result, his camp have supposedly been left dissatisfied with the wages that Real Madrid have placed on the table, and speculation over a blockbuster move to the Premier League continues to rage.

If Mbappe accepts a significant wage decrease, Liverpool and Arsenal are considered to be the only two English clubs with a realistic – albeit highly minimal – chance of welcoming the World Cup winner to the Premier League.

However, speaking to the Evening Standard, Konate rubbished suggestions that his compatriot could arrive at Anfield and suggested that his imminent switch to Real Madrid was virtually set in stone.

“In all honesty do you really think he’s going to come to Liverpool? We don’t think about him, we all know where he’s going to go,” Konate said after Liverpool’s 4-1 win over Brentford on Saturday lunchtime.

Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate reacts after the match on November 5, 2023© Reuters

Mbappe was curiously named on the bench for Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash with Nantes after Thursday’s revelations, although there has not been an official communication from the striker or the club regarding his supposed exit.

PSG head coach Luis Enrique refused to discuss the matter in Friday’s press conference, while Real boss Carlo Ancelotti also avoided answering questions about Mbappe’s anticipated Bernabeu arrival.

However, amid claims that Mbappe would consider joining Arsenal in order to follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta insisted that his side have to be in the “conversation” to sign the 25-year-old this summer.

The Spaniard quickly conceded that Mbappe’s heart likely lies elsewhere, though, and neither Liverpool nor Arsenal are thought to be willing to break their wage structure for the former Monaco protege.

Liverpool temporarily moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with their thrashing of Brentford, but Arsenal’s 5-0 battering of Burnley saw the Gunners cut the gap back down to two, and Arteta’s men will end the weekend in second place thanks to Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

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