Charlton Athletic boss Karl Robinson claims that a number of Premier League clubs have been in contact in the League One side over 19-year-old Ezri Konsa.
According to Robinson, Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal have all been in contact with the Addicks over their teenage defender Konsa.
“We’re getting phone calls about Ez from Premier League clubs,” he said.
“They’ve been asking for a price tag. We’ve got a high one. The boy won’t go until they meet our criteria.
“It’s the same with Ademola Lookman. My argument is if we sell players, there has to be money put back into the team to go forward, otherwise you’re devaluing your own team.
“The Ademola money went for more infrastructural reasons. Did I like that as a manager? No. But we have to have a base at this academy that makes great players for the next 10, 15, 20 years. I want to make sure it’s not about a selfish immediate gain.
“But I think if Ezri Konsa goes, people have to be aware we’ve done it before with Ademola.
“[But] we have to have an injection to make this team better again. There’s a difference now where we’re starting to build ourselves.”
Charlton sold Ademola Lookman to the Toffees for £11m in January and Robinson’s comments make it sound as if the League One side would be open to a similar deal for Konsa in the future. However, they apparently rebuffed offers over the summer.
Konsa has been at Charlton his entire life, joining the youth side in 2009 and breaking into the first team in 2016/17. Although he made the senior team’s bench in 2015.
In total, the centre-back made 32 League One appearances last season.
The 19-year-old has already featured 11 times this term and has an assist to his name.
While Robinson clearly rates the youngster, he doesn’t seem opposed to letting him go as long as Charlton get a decent amount to put back into the club. As he mentioned, they’re building themselves at the moment, presumably he means after getting relegated in 2015/16, and £11m is obviously a decent sum of money for them.
The fact that the manager is so open about interest from Premier League clubs is oddly refreshing, although potentially another sign that he’s trying to ramp up Konsa’s transfer fee as he could be trying to show the clubs that are interested how much competition they’ve got.