Arsenal had scouts watching RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate according to Sport Bild [£].

LEIPZIG, SAXONY - JANUARY 19:  Ibrahima Konate of Leipzig during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund at Red Bull Arena on January 19, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany.  (Photo by Karina Hessland/Bongarts/Getty Images)
LEIPZIG, SAXONY – JANUARY 19: Ibrahima Konate of Leipzig during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund at Red Bull Arena on January 19, 2019 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Karina Hessland/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Whether Arsenal are hoping that Emile Smith Rowe’s loan to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig will help them land the 19-year-old centreback Ibrahim Konate, it’s hard to say, but it certainly won’t hurt.

Arsenal are one of a number of clubs, including West Ham and Chelsea, who were watching the player recently as he faced Borussia Dortmund. If that list seems like a relatively easy field to clear, Manchester United, Juventus, AC Milan and Barcelona have already been scouting him too.

Under contract until 2023 after signing a new deal just a few weeks ago, if he moves in the summer he will not be cheap and that could be the major problem for Arsenal rather than any competition from around Europe. You have to pay to play in this game and Arsenal are still searching down the back of the sofa for loose change.

A solid player who stands at 1.93 metres (6ft3) with size 46 (13) feet, Sport Bild even detail his shoulder width (51cm) and stride length (88cm) in an effort to convey how he dwarfs many attackers. He wins more duels than any other player in his side (66%), he moves at an impressive 34.4kmph and is often involved in setting up attacks as he strides out from the back carrying the ball 60 yards.

That’s because, as he says himself, he is not a ‘born defender’. “I am not a born defender. I was [for a] long [time a] midfielder and even striker. You can see that I have brought something. Therefore, I can also move something forward,” he told Sport Bild.

Konate arrived in Germany in the summer of 2017 from FC Sochaux. He cost RB nothing at the time.

So is he thinking about moving?

HANOVER, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 01: Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig argues with Jonathas de Jesus of Hannover 96 during the Bundesliga match between Hannover 96 and RB Leipzig at HDI-Arena on February 01, 2019 in Hanover, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)
HANOVER, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 01: Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig argues with Jonathas de Jesus of Hannover 96 during the Bundesliga match between Hannover 96 and RB Leipzig at HDI-Arena on February 01, 2019 in Hanover, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

“I feel well in the club, that’s why I have extended. That I am observed by other clubs, I do not care. It does not affect me.

“When I was a child I said to myself: I
always have to do my best, then everything will be fine, and things come along.”

Any move for him now will see the buying club have to stump up a figure in the region of £16m, if not considerably more, once a bidding war starts.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.