RB Leipzig are renowned for giving some of Europe’s best young players a chance to shine, and Ibrahima Konate is the latest player to roll off their production line.
The Frenchman is just 21, but already he is being watched by Europe’s biggest clubs and the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Liverpool have been credited with an interest in him.
Standard Sport understands Arsenal are also admirers of the centre-back, who is shining in Germany after first breaking through at Sochaux in France.
Konate made his debut there at the age of just 17 and RB Leipzig quickly swooped to sign him for free despite the youngster have played just 12 professional games.
“We’ve been watching Ibrahima Konate for some time,” said RB Leipzig’s former sporting director Ralf Rangnick in 2017 when they signed the defender.
“He’s a young, highly-gifted player who’ll strengthen our defence. We’re very happy to have been able to bring in this top talent and that Ibrahima can take the next step in his career here.
“He shows great qualities despite being only 18, and we’re convinced he’ll bring us a lot of joy.”
Rangnick viewed the signing of Konate as a major coup and he has been proven right by the defender’s progress.
He is often in the shadow of fellow young RB Leipzig centre-back, Dayot Upamecano, but Konate has shown he has the potential to make it to the top.
“There are a few others in Leipzig: I see Ibrahim Konate on the same level [as Upamecano],” Ragnick told Sport 1 only last year.
Konate’s huge 6ft 4in frame has caught the eye of scouts, but his speed is also an asset and his ability in possession is improving too.
Unsurprisingly, that has got Europe’s biggest clubs tracking Konate’s progress ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
The defender will have two years to run on his current contract then, making it an ideal time to sell him if he doesn’t want to pen fresh terms.
Konate will want to pick his next club wisely, though, as at Leipzig he is being given regular game time and is playing Champions League football.
A move to one of Europe’s biggest sides beckons - as is often the way with those at Leipzig - and the number of suitors won’t be short.