PRESTON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 7, 2023: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and SV Darmstadt 98 at Deepdale. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ibrahima Konate ‘rejects Saudi move’ after approach from Fabinho’s club

Links between Liverpool and Saudi clubs persist in the final weeks of their transfer window, with Ibrahima Konate claimed to have rejected a move.

This summer window has seen a new threat emerge for Europe’s elite clubs, with the wealth of the Saudi Pro League shifting the landscape.

For Liverpool, that has led to unexpected moves for Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, while Roberto Firmino also headed to the Middle East on a free transfer.

An approach for Luis Diaz was rejected out of hand in July, while more recently speculation has surrounded the futures of Mohamed Salah and Joe Gomez.

Salah and Gomez have been subject to interest from Al-Ittihad, the club who paid £40 million for Fabinho and already include Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante in their squad.

According to RMC Sport journalist Fabrice Hawkins, the same club recently “sounded out” Konate over a potential move to Jeddah.

The Frenchman is seemingly among a list of centre-backs on their radar, with OGC Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo said to have turned down a “big offer.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Konate also rejected the chance to move to Saudi Arabia, with Hawkins explaining that he “feels good at Liverpool where he wants to achieve his goals.”

In his report for RMC Sport, however, Hawkins also claims that Al-Ittihad “seem to have accelerated” their pursuit of Gomez.

While the wages on offer in the Saudi Pro League are undoubtedly tempting for any player, it remains a fact that the profile and competition of the league is far below that of the Premier League.

That makes the prospect of moving to a club like Al-Ittihad at Konate’s age, 24, a difficult one – though not out of the question.

Gabri Veiga, the 21-year-old Spanish midfielder who was on Liverpool’s radar earlier in the summer, remains something of an outlier following his move from Celta Vigo to Al-Ahli.

SINGAPORE - Sunday, July 30, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (L) and Ibrahima Konaté with the trophy after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at the Singapore National Stadium. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of course, the ramifications of any centre-back rleaving Anfield at this stage in the transfer window would need to be considered.

While the deadline is extended to September 7 in Saudi Arabia, the window will close for Premier League clubs at 11pm on Friday.

Were Gomez or Konate to leave, for example, they would need to be replaced, making it unlikely Liverpool would accept any offer for either player.

As it stands, there is no indication the club will further reinforce their back line despite calls to do so, with another midfielder more likely to arrive this week.