Arsenal to target RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate in ‘summer rebuild’

Arsenal are monitoring RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate as they ponder a summer move for the centre-back.

The 21-year-old has emerged as a target after the Gunners terminated the contracts of both Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi in January, trimming down the squad in the defensive area.

There is also still uncertainty surrounding the future of David Luiz, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and it’s still unclear how much of a role William Saliba will play next season when he returns from his loan deal with Nice.

According to the Evening Standard, Arteta wants to bring young Frenchman Konate in as part of a ‘summer rebuild’, although Arsenal are likely to face competition from across Europe with the player said to be on several clubs’ radars.

Konate joined the Bundesliga outfit from Sochaux back in 2017 and the 21-year-old has played 88 times for RB Leipzig. He has only featured 14 times in all competitions this season however, having struggled with an ankle injury recently.

He did play the full 90 minutes in Leipzig’s two Champions League group stage clashes with Manchester United, as the German side edged the Red Devils out of the competition to earn a last 16 tie with Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford, Ibrahima KonateMarcus Rashford, Ibrahima Konate
Konate challenges Marcus Rashford in the Champions League | Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Speaking during his press conference ahead of the trip to Burnley on Saturday, Arteta revealed that plans were already in place for the upcoming summer transfer window, although his budget is likely to depend on what the club go on to achieve between now and the end of the current campaign.

If Arsenal were to sneak into next season’s Champions League they will receive a substantial financial boost. However, if they were to miss out on European competition altogether, they may need to get creative with the resources at their disposal.

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