France v Denmark: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 1
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Video: Ibrahima Konate spotted hugging £55m star who Liverpool are reportedly trying to sign this summer

Ibrahima Konate has been seen laughing with reported Liverpool target Christopher Nkunku.

Konate joined up with the senior France squad for the first time yesterday. And as seen on the Equipe de France Twitter page, he was nicely welcomed by his new teammates.

Going around the table, the Liverpool man said his hello’s to the likes of Hugo Lloris, Lucas Hernandez and Jules Kounde.

But the biggest welcome came from the player who Liverpool have reportedly set their sights on. Nkunku is coveted by Europe’s biggest clubs after scoring 31 goals for RB Leipzig last season. And he welcomed Ibou with a big smile and an embrace in Croatia.

Agent Konate deployed

Of course these two players are very well known to each other having spent two years together at Leipzig.

During those two years, Nkunku was a solid, if unspectacular player. But since Konate made his move to Merseyside last summer, the 24-year-old has really hit the straps.

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This has obviously garnered the attention of Europe’s elite. Liverpool are one of those said to be interested in adding the versatile forward to their squad.

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With Leipzig reportedly aiming to insert a £55m release clause into his contract, he isn’t going to come cheap. There has even been suggestions that it would take as much as £85m to get him out of the club this summer.

As clubs battle it out to land Nkunku, perhaps a word in the ear of his old pal Ibou can make all the difference.

Ibou earns his call-up

The other side to this story is that it’s absolutely fantastic to see Konate’s form earn him international recognition.

France have a seemingly unlimited pool of talent and are the current World Champions no less. For the 23-year-old to break his way into that after just one year at Liverpool is very impressive.

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Manager Didier Deschamps had spoken of the fact that Konate was on his radar. But it looked as though Liverpool’s number 5 would have to wait a little longer.

Injury to Presnel Kimpembe means that his opportunity comes now. With three games still to come for France in the next week, it’s likely that Konate will get the chance to make an impression. The first may even come tonight against Croatia.

As he has done at Liverpool, expect him to take it with both hands.

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