Manchester United have set their sights on Sevilla’s Jules Koundé as they look to improve their centre back roster, according to The Mirror.
The Red Devils have been linked with several centre backs since last summer’s transfer window and RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano was believed to be their prime target.
However, competition for the Frenchman, whose €42 million buyout clause becomes active in June, has heated up and it is now widely speculated that Bayern Munich are leading the chase to sign him.
This may be the reason that United have switched their attention to another highly-rated 22-year-old Frenchman, Koundé.
‘The Old Trafford boss sees Kounde as the ideal long-term partner for captain Harry Maguire, at £80 million the world’s most expensive defender,’ The Mirror says.
‘Kounde has grown in stature since his £22 million arrival at Seville from Bordeaux 18 months ago.
‘The French youngster has emerged as one of La Liga’s most promising defensive talents with skills which have earned him rave reviews across Europe.’
If the Mirror’s claims are true, United will certainly have their work cut out to sign the defender for a reasonable amount as Sevilla are not willing to let him go easily.
Koundé himself admitted he had spoken to Pep Guardiola about a move to Manchester City in the summer, but the Andalusian side rejected a €55 million (£49m) offer and City switched their attentions to Ruben Dias instead.
The Parisian’s contract at Seville runs until 2024 and reportedly has an €80 million (£71m) release clause – an amount that United’s board seems unlikely to sanction in the current financial climate.
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