Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly one of the sides taking an interest in RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate ahead of the summer when the 21-year-old’s release clause will become active, and he could be the man to finally replace Jan Vertonghen at the North London club.
According to journalist Christian Falk on Twitter, Spurs, Manchester United and Liverpool are all interested in the young defender, who will be available for €40 million (£36 million) in the summer.
Spurs are arguably yet to replace Vertonghen in their side since the Belgian’s departure in the summer, and Konate could be the man to step up in Jose Mourinho’s side as his long-term replacement.
During his time with Spurs, the former Ajax man would make 315 appearances for the club, contributing 14 goals and seven assists but he lost his place in Mourinho’s side last season and departed on a free transfer after his contract expired, eventually joining Benfica.
Spurs did add Joe Rodon from Swansea City to their side during the summer transfer window but the Welsh international has only recently broken into the first-team and showed his inexperience in the midweek defeat against Liverpool for Sadio Mane’s goal – even if it was a rare blip in an impressive showing.
Even though he has only managed six appearances in the German top-flight this season, his average rating of 6.81 would rate him above all of Spurs’ centre-back options, other than Toby Alderweireld – who has averaged a solid 6.97 rating.
Even though he is only 21, Konate has plenty of experience in the Bundesliga and the Champions League, which is something that the likes of Rodon and Japhet Tanganga cannot offer in this Spurs side.
Former Leipzig coach Ralf Ragnick suggested that Konate was just as good as Dayot Upamecano in 2020, saying when comparing the two:
“There are a few others in Leipzig: I see Ibrahim Konaté on the same level.”
Therefore, the 21-year-old would arrive with a big reputation despite being so young, and if he achieves his obvious potential with Spurs should Daniel Levy deliver him during next summer’s transfer window, then he could be the man to finally replace Vertonghen at the North London club.