By Sulayman Bah
Konate, born to a Gambian parent, has been linked and tipped to commit his international future to Gambia.
Sweden –the starlet’s country of birth – and Guinea Conakry –where his father hails from – have been involved in a tug-of-war over snapping up the defender.
Gambia, were reportedly in pole position to secure the 20-year-old’s services following the player’s Gambian-born mother’s numerous attempts to convince the lad to commit to the Scorpions.
However, Pa Konate who has a Gambian name, has instead opted to play for Sweden featuring in the Scandinavian nation’s U-21s national team.
He was among players called up recently in a friendly 4-3 win over Turkey’s U-21s as he climbed off the substitutes’ bench in what was his third appearance for Sweden.
But despite losing him albeit temporarily, Gambia could still lure the player before he turns 23 in the face of FIFA naturalization rules.
By international football rules, Pa Konate could still switch his allegiance to another country before he is 23 years old.
Pa won the Swedish Premier League title and super cup last season and is on the verge of defending it with Malmo who are top of the table at the moment.
The left-footed starlet turned professional last year after signing youth development contract with Malmo and was to spend part of the previous season on loan to second tier Oster whom he made fifteen starts for before being recalled to the light blue of Malmo prior to end of his loan duration.
Gambia has been winning battles with Sweden over players after recently swooping defender Kebba Ceesay who appeared in all the cadet categories for the Scandinavian country before joining the Scorpions under Coach Paul Put in 2010.
Njogu Demba, AlagieSosseh, Omar Jawo are the others to have chosen Gambia over Sweden.
Winning over Konate will depend on whether the current two-year ban on Gambia by CAF is rescinded to ensure participation in the FIFA tournaments and promise of first-team football.