Chelsea have locked horns with Liverpool and Bayern Munich for RB Leipzig star Conrad Laimer, according to a report from Germany. The 25-year-old midfielder faces an increasingly uncertain future, with his contract at the Red Bull Arena set to expire at the end of the season.
According to Christian Falk of German outlet BILD, Jurgen Klopp’s side have made contact with Laimer’s entourage over a potential free transfer in the summer. The report states that the Blues are also interested in the Austria international, who has been likened to N’Golo Kante in the past.
However, it’s believed that Bayern Munich are currently leading the race to sign the midfielder. According to Sky Sports, Manchester United were interested in Laimer during Ralf Rangnick’s short-lived stint as head coach at Old Trafford and the Red Devils are yet to have been linked with the Austrian since Erik ten Hag’s arrival. Laimer has featured 167 times for Leipzig since joining the club in 2017 from RB Salzburg. He’s been central to much of Red Bull’s network success, courting the interest of several clubs along the way.
Amid his success in Germany, he’s earned comparisons to Kante by former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Emmanuel Petit. Ahead of Euro 2020, the Frenchman gave his assessment of Laimer, who is currently valued at £17.4million by CIES Football Observatory. As quoted by the official Bundesliga website, paraphrasing the famous Kante saying, Petit said:
“Seventy per cent of the Earth’s surface is water, the other 30 per cent is covered by Konrad Laimer.”
Chelsea’s interest in the Austrian comes amid the uncertain future of Kante, who is set to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer. The 31-year-old is out injured for four months following surgery due to a hamstring injury he picked up in August. He’s yet to feature for Graham Potter, casting greater doubt as to whether the Blues boss sees a future for the Frenchman in his plans.