Decision set to be made about Liverpool star's fitness ahead of international clash

A decision on whether Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate remains with the France national team is expected to be made on Monday, with the centre back still an injury doubt.

Konate pulled up with a muscle issue during Liverpool's 5-1 last 16 first-leg Europa League win over Sparta Prague on 7 March and, while Jurgen Klopp initially played down the severity of the problem, the 24-year-old was subsequently left out of the next three games, including Sunday's FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.

Despite being sidelined at club level, Konate has still been called up for national team duty with France, with Les Bleus set to play friendlies against Germany (Saturday 23 March) and Chile (Tuesday 26 March) during the break.

Konate's inclusion in Didier Deschamps' squad is a cause for concern considering his delicate fitness situation.

READ MORE: Which Liverpool players have been called up for international duty this month?

According to L’Equipe, the defender will be assessed by national team medical staff to determine whether he has recovered well enough to participate in the upcoming friendlies, with an update expected at some point on Monday.

Should Konate be deemed unfit, he will reportedly be replaced by one of Axel Disasi (Chelsea) or Jean-Clear Todibo (Nice).

Konate has been a regular for France, when fit, since his debut in 2022, making 13 appearances. He is expected to make the squad for this summer's Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.

Liverpool injury concerns

The Frenchman, who has missed nine games with injuries so far this season, is not the only concern for the Reds heading into the international break.

Jurgen Klopp revealed that Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo all suffered potential knocks during Sunday's defeat at Old Trafford, adding to the manager's availability concerns ahead of the end-of-season run-in.

"We have some problems. Lucho felt his groin, Darwin hamstring, hopefully not bad, and Cody twisted his ankle I think, so we will see," the manager said

"I don't know exactly when they play their first games, probably in four or five days. It's a crazy schedule and let's hope they can get through that - and then the season starts.

"The more of the boys we have available, the bigger our chances are to finish the season in style."

Following the international break, Liverpool will take on Brighton at Anfield in the Premier League on 31 March.

In addition to Konate, the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones and Ryan Gravenberch are all in contention to return for that fixture.

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