Ibou Konate “very happy” if Liverpool sign “little brother” Khephren Thuram

Ibrahima Konate has backed Liverpool’s interest in Khephren Thuram, who he calls his “little brother,” vowing to “take him under my wing.”

OGC Nice midfielder Thuram is among a number of targets being considered by the Reds at the start of the transfer window.

With Alexis Mac Allister already through the door, Liverpool are expected to sign at least two more midfielders, with the likes of Manu Kone, Romeo Lavia, Matheus Nunes and Gabri Veiga also linked.

Thuram, 22, would arrive as a player familiar to Konate, having played alongside each other once for France and being close off the pitch due to the defender’s ties at Sochaux.

Konate played alongside Thuram’s brother, striker Marcus Thuram, at the French club, and he admitted he would be “very happy” if Liverpool signed him.

“Khephren is like my little brother, he’s someone I saw growing up,” he told RMC Sport.

2JP0214 Nice, France, 14th August 2022. Khephren Thuram of OGC Nice stares towards the fans following the final whistle of the Uber Eats Ligue 1 match at Allianz Riviera Stadium, Nice. Picture credit should read: Jonathan Moscrop / Sportimage

“I was with his big brother at the training centre but Khephren, I saw him grow.

“I saw him perform and progress to a level…it was incredible.

“Even when he came to the France team for his first selection, I saw him in training and I was really surprised by his size and his technical ease.

“I would be very happy for him to come to Liverpool, I would take him under my wing and I would do everything for him to progress and become the player he wants to become.

“Now it is also up to him to work. But I would do anything for him to become a top player.”

2PMR441 Basel, St. Jakobs-Park, Switzerland. 13th Apr, 2023. UEFA Europa Conference League: FC Basel - OGC Nice, #19 Khephren Thuram (Nice) controls the ball (Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Just Pictures/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

There is no guarantee at this stage that Liverpool will sign Thuram, though there have been claims of personal terms being agreed and meetings held with Nice.

But if he does, Konate is clearly convinced both player and club will have made a smart decision.

“When I was at Leipzig and I signed for Liverpool, many people said that it was too early, that it was not the right choice,” he explained.

“In the end, I proved all these people wrong, so you shouldn’t listen to people.

“If Khephren has the opportunity to come to a club like Liverpool, I think he will be surprised at the enthusiasm that will come from behind him.

“It’s up to him to work. He is still very young but he has incredible room for improvement so I have confidence.”