Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool fans want to sign ‘future star’ Ibrahima Konate after France Under-21s star’s solid game against England

19 Jun

There was a great deal of excitement about what England’s Under-21 side could achieve at the European Championships in Italy this summer.

But things have not gone to plan so far as Aidy Boothroyd’s side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat in their opening match against France.

England Under-21s somehow lost a match they seemed so destined to win
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To make matters worse for the Young Lions, they were actually winning with 88 minutes on the clock thanks to Phil Foden’s classy strike.

But Jonathan Ikone’s leveller on 89 minutes and a calamitous stoppage-time own goal from Aaron Wan-Bissaka ensured Les Bleuets would run away with all three points.

Unsurprisingly, France earned all the plaudits and a few players caught the eyes of fans.

Some Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United fans took to Twitter to urge their clubs to sign centre-back Dayot Upamecano, following his near-perfect performance.

This was France’s night, who kept England’s creative players at arms length for most of the game
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And Upamecano’s France and RB Leipzig team-mate Ibrahima Konate also particularly caught the eyes of Arsenal and United fans – as these clubs are in desperate need to improve their defences for next season.



Below you can see the best tweets from these Arsenal and United fans, as well as one Liverpool supporter who suggested their clubs should be looking to land Konate this summer.

 

Manchester United transfer news: Five potential Mathijs De Ligt alternatives with Ajax captain ‘close’ to Paris Saint-Germain move

12 Jun

Manchester United’s pursuit of Matthis De Ligt looks set to finally be brought to an end with the defender set to join Paris Saint-Germain.

The Ajax captain, who is still only just 19, has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in world football and has even been courted by Barcelona.

The 19-year-old wonderkid will reportedly reject advances from Man United and Barcelona to join PSG
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But, according to reports, PSG have stolen a march on their European rivals and will wrap up De Ligt’s signature soon.

Last summer, Jose Mourinho tried and failed to bring a marquee centre-half to the club, with the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Diego Godin linked.

But when the Atletico Madrid skipper used United’s interest as leverage, Mourinho and the club left negotiations with their tails tucked firmly between their legs.

In order to avoid such embarrassment this season, Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will surely be looking to conclude their business early this time around.

So just who else could they get to shore up their defence instead?

talkSPORT.com has identified five potential targets for the Red Devils instead of Paris-bound De Ligt. Scroll down to see the possible candidates.

Harry Maguire (Leicester City)

The Leicester City defender was linked with a move to Old Trafford last summer as well
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Last summer, United were told to pay £75million for the England international after his heroics at the World Cup.

This time around, Solskjaer and Woodward may have to shell out £80million to make that happen.

Maguire has continued to improve since his move from Sheffield United in 2017 and is dangerous in both penalty boxes.

His marauding runs from a left centre-back position are the stuff of legend and doesn’t let his defensive game suffer, managing 152 clearances in the Premier League last season.

Ruben Dias (Benfica)

The 22-year-old is highly-rated and wanted by Real Madrid
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Real Madrid are tentatively looking to replace 33-year-old Sergio Ramos at centre-half and are reportedly looking at the Portugal international.

While Zinedine Zidane has already brought in Eder Militao from Porto, signing Dias would vastly improve their defence.

With De Ligt looking unlikely, United could steal a march on their European rivals and nab the 22-year-old from under Los Blancos’ noses.

Dias played both games in Portugal’s Nations League campaign, maintaining a 93 per cent pass accuracy and managed 11 recoveries in the final against the Netherlands.

Ibrahima Konate (RB Leipzig)

Konate sends Robert Lewandowski for a Kielbasa
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Last season, RB Leipzig conceded the fewest goals in the Bundesliga – thanks largely to the performances of Konate.

The Frenchman is lightning quick and strong in the air, meaning he would fit into a high-pressing style of play.

And his strongest attributes are not just physical either. The 20-year-old finished the season with a 92 per cent dribble completion rate in the Bundesliga, showing he is comfortable on the ball.

As the video below suggests, making a step up to the Premier League would not be a bridge too far, as Konate dominated Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski.

Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig)

Arsenal have also been linked with a move fro the 19-year-old
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This time last year, Upamecano was described by those in Germany as ‘the best young defender in world football’ ahead of De Ligt.

It would be incorrect to suggest the 20-year-old’s development has slowed, rather the Ajax captain has simply excelled that much.

“He loves defending, getting the ball off opponents,” France youth coach Jean-Claude Giuntini said of Upamecano prior to the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2015. “He’s still young and has room for improvement, but he has a great attitude, and a lot of determination.”

For a full profile on the youngster – also wanted by Arsenal – check out talkSPORT.com’s scout report here.

Issa Diop (West Ham United)

The French defender was imperious against United back in September
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At the London Stadium last season, Issa Diop bullied Romelu Lukaku, Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane – none of the Premier League sharp-shooters were able to get past the Hammers defender at home.

A £24million signing from Toulouse, Diop initially struggled on his debut at Arsenal as Manuel Pellegrini’s side shipped four.

However, his reading of the game and the aggression he possesses mean the 22-year-old has all the attributes to go right to the top.

He does have a tendency to dive in and leave himself exposed, but 165 duels won in the top-flight last season suggest he has the drive and ability to make up for it.