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Konate replaces injured Raphael Varane in France squad

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Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konate has earned his first call-up to the senior France squad in place of Manchester United’s Raphael Varane.

Didier Deschamps’s side began their Nations League defence with a 2-1 defeat to Denmark on Friday night in League A Group 1, during which Varane was taken off with a hamstring problem.

The centre-back has now been deemed unfit to carry on this month, allowing Konate to earn his maiden call-up for Les Bleus after he was initially snubbed by Deschamps.

The former RB Leipzig man earned 13 caps for the world champions at Under-21 level and joins the likes of Jules Kounde, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, William Saliba as Les Bleus’ central defensive options in Varane’s absence.

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Konate made 29 appearances for Liverpool during the 2021-22 season, scoring three goals and collecting EFL Cup and FA Cup winners’ medals with the Reds in his debut campaign.

France who also have an injury concern over Kylian Mbappe continue their Nations League campaign with a trip to Croatia in a repeat of the 2018 World Cup final on Monday night.

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