Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a summer move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde. The Frenchman has emerged as one of La Liga’s most sought-after defenders this season.
The 22-year-old defender recently scored a great solo goal against FC Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final. He also kept a clean-sheet and put his side in a commanding position to reach the competition’s final.
According to AS, translated by Sport Witness, Manchester United are looking to bring Kounde to Old Trafford this summer. But they will face stiff competition from the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain.
Kounde has a release clause of £70 million. And Sevilla are suspecting that one of the clubs will meet his release clause this summer. Who that club will be, it remains to be seen.
Manchester United want Kounde:
Manchester United have scored the most goals in the Premier League this season. But their defence needs major improvement this summer. They have conceded 30 goals in their opening 23 league games – most by any team in the top 9 of the table. Not good for a side looking to challenge for the title this season.
The club spent £80 million on Harry Maguire in 2019, in hope of improving their defence. Maguire’s arrival looked to have massively strengthened the Red Devils’ backline. But this season, their defence looks shakier than ever. Maguire’s centre-back partnership with Victor Lindelof has often come under scrutiny and rightly so.
As a result, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to splash the cash on a new centre-back this summer, with Jules Kounde leading his priority list. Solskjaer sees him as a perfect partner for captain Harry Maguire. He needs a young, talented and ambitious defender, with Kounde ticking every box.
Solskjaer and his team had a close-up view of Kounde’s ability last season when they faced Sevilla in the semi-finals of the Europa League in Koln. The Spanish team won the game 2-1, with Kounde instrumental in their win. Sevilla and Kounde went on to win the Europa League, beating Italy’s Inter Milan in the final.
Red Devils can get a discount on Kounde?
Manchester United and Solskjaer want Kounde. But their main stumbling block is Sevilla’s asking price of £70 million. With loads of clubs interested in him, United need to act fast in order to land their priority signing.
One way to reduce Sevilla’s asking price is to include a player in the deal. And United may be able to knock some money off Kounde’s price tag. Sevilla have identified United’s Diogo Dalot as a top target for the summer. They see him as a long-term replacement for Jesus Navas.
Dalot’s future at Old Trafford remain unclear, with Solskjaer preferring Aaron Wan-Bisakka over the Portuguese. He is currently on-loan at AC Milan and has impressed with his recent performances at the San Siro. Milan are also interested in him but are reluctant to pay United’s asking price of £15 million.
Kounde’s price tag could become smaller if United include Dalot in any potential deal, which would mean an outlay of just £55 million for a talent like Kounde. It’s a win-win situation for both Sevilla and United.