Manchester United have been tipped to make a renewed January approach for highly-rated Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde.
However, according to Sport Witness, by way of a report in AS, United retain a “palpable interest” in the young defender and could look to gazump the eager Blues.
The Londoners are said to have been keen on signing the 23-year-old in the summer, but ultimately fell short of the Spanish side’s €80m release clause.
Thomas Tuchel is expected to make a fresh attempt for Kounde in January, but could face stern competition from the Red Devils.
Sevilla are believed to have since relaxed their fee demands and will now accept significantly less than the €80m previously being quoted.
However, any sale is thought to hinge upon the La Liga club being able to bring in a suitable replacement during the challenging January window.
Chelsea are expected to push hard for the elegant stopper, in light of ongoing uncertainty over the futures of defensive trio Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.
While United are expected to challenge the Blues, it’s less clear why the club would be in the market for another centre-back. It’s a position in which they seem to have genuine depth.
It’s always possible that there’s very little substance to the reports and, if there is, it’s equally plausible that the Reds’ name could be used to drag Chelsea back to the negotiating table.
Assuming the interest does exist, Kounde is a highly-regarded operator who offers the kind of versatility that could seriously appeal to new coach, Ralf Rangnick.
As well as excelling in central defence, he can also play at right-back. And that’s one position that United are widely regarded as needing to improve.