RB Leipzig have snapped up another talented youngster, with Ibrahima Konaté joining from French side FC Sochaux-Montbéliard.
The 18-year-old defender joins the club on a free transfer, signing a five-year deal with the side that finished second in the Bundesliga last season.
Another young player into the Leipzig machine
This signing continues Leipzig’s business model of buying in young talent early and giving them the chance to develop in a first team environment. He is the second young French defender to join the club in 2017, with Dayot Upamecano having been signed from sister club Red Bull Salzburg in January.
Konaté has made just 12 senior league appearances, making his debut for Sochaux in Ligue 2 only in February of this year. He also played against AS Monaco in the quarter-final of the Coupe de la Ligue, which Sochaux lost on penalties. He has also played at international level, playing 12 times for France under-16s and a further five times for the under-17s.
However despite that inexperience, it is quite possible that he could get first team opportunities straight away next season as a back-up to the senior centre-backs, as Leipzig look to balance domestic commitments with the UEFA Champions League.
Rangnick has high hopes for Konaté
Speaking after the deal was confirmed on Monday, sporting director Ralf Rangnick said that the club had been “observing him for a long time,” and that he was a “highly-gifted player” who would “strengthen” their defensive options.
He added the Leizpig were “very happy” to have signed him, and that they were now hoping that with his “enormous abilities” they would have a lot of success together.
He is the third signing the club have made so far this summer, with the first two being goalkeepers Yvon Mvogo from BSC Young Boys and Phillipp Köhn from VfB Stuttgart.
Quotes via RB Leipzig.