Didier Deschamps responds to Jurgen Klopp over Ibrahima Konate injury

France manager Didier Deschamps has spoken about Ibrahima Konate's latest injury, while responding to criticism from Jurgen Klopp over his management of the defender's fitness.

Konate picked up a hamstring injury in the warm-up ahead of the Reds' Europa League defeat to Toulouse last week and sat out Sunday's win over Brentford at Anfield.

As a result, the defender has pulled out of the France squad to Gibraltar and Greece over the international break.

A statement from the French FA confirmed Konate had suffered a 'small muscle injury' which would required 'two weeks of treatment', with Chelsea's Axel Disasi replacing him in Deschamps' squad.

READ MORE: Liverpool's injured players & when they could return 

This is not the first hamstring injury Konate has suffered this season, with the defender already missing two games for the Reds in 2023/24 with a similar issue.

Management of the 24-year-old's fitness has been a regular concern for Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool boss made pointed comments to Deschamps over the need to rest Konate back in October.

After the defender played twice during the last international break, Klopp left him out of the 5-1 win over Toulouse telling French reporters: “I love absolutely everything about Ibou, but the problem is Ibou had injury problems from time to time, and Mr. Deschamps played him 90 [minutes vs. Netherlands] and 87 [minutes vs. Scotland] minutes in the two games.

“So, we’ve used this time now to give him a little rest. He could have played tonight, of course, but he has to play on Sunday again.

“That’s why I spoke to Ibou and told him, tell Mr. Deschamps, ‘that’s how you rest a player’. Not three minutes, the fully 90.

“But we are more than overly happy with Ibou. [He is a] fantastic boy and a super player and France can be really happy to have him.”

Speaking in a press conference on Monday (via RMC Sport), Deschamps was asked about Klopp’s comments from the previous month and replied diplomatically.

He said: “It probably happened in the past, and it will happen again at other moments.

“Because the situation and interests vary between club managers and national team managers.

“I try and manage them like any manager. When they have weeks with three games, they can manage them a bit more. Us, we have a gathering, two games.”

Ibrahima Konate – ProShots

On the nature of Konate's latest injury setback, meanwhile, Deschamps was optimistic, insisting the problem is 'not serious'.

He added: “There is no problem for the rest of season in this calendar year.”

“Ibou, as we told you, did not play the match [for Liverpool] in Toulouse, but he warmed up for a possible role during the match.

“He felt a problem with his hamstring. He had tests, but it’s not serious.

“He needs a bit of time to not take any risks. It’s an area where he already had an injury.

“It wasn’t in the player’s interest nor in my interest. In the best-case scenario, he could only have been available for training on Friday or Saturday.”

Given the current predicted timeline, there is a chance Konate could be available to face Manchester City when domestic football resumes on 25 November.

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