Manchester United are expected to supplement their pre-existing transfer budget by moving on quite a few stars in the summer with the defensive department set for a major reshuffle.
Loan signing Eric Bailly and Alex Telles will be joined by academy graduates Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe in heading out the door at Carrington.
Phil Jones has already announced he is leaving at the end of the season while club captain Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have also been linked with moves away.
There is uncertainty surrounding the futures of both right-backs Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot and thus, United are expected to bring in at least one more defender.
United are certain to bring in a new defender
Ideally, a versatile defender would be the perfect signing with former Ten Hag protégé Jurrien Timber linked with a move along with Benjamin Pavard.
Serie A champ Kim Min-jae seems to be the favourite to land up at Old Trafford but you never know with the Reds.
A new name has now entered the fray courtesy Fichajes — Barcelona’s Jules Koundé who has grown tired of being played as a full-back instead of his preferred centre-back role.
The Frenchman, who was a revelation for Sevilla, has been mainly deployed on the right side of defence by Xavi and he is open to leaving the Camp Nou after just one season.
Despite apprehensions over his current role, his statistics remain top notch. The La Liga winner has made 38 appearances across all competitions, chipping in with one goal and notching six assists.
As per Fbref, the France international is placed in the top 93 percentile for passes attempted and passes completed while he is also in the top 95 percentile for progressive passes, a trait highly desired by Ten Hag.
“Manchester United is one of the clubs looking to strengthen its defense and sees in Koundé an ideal option to boost its rotation and compete with players like Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martínez.
United enter the race for Kounde
“The profile of the French defender, with his ability to get the ball out, is highly valued by coach Erik Ten Hag, who sees in him a perfect complement to his game system.”
Spanish outlet SPORT have also reported that while Barca have been rocked by the latest update, they will be willing to sell their star defender in case of a bid of €80 million.
The 24-year-old, who had arrived for a fee of €55 million, has multiple suitors all across the Premier League. Chelsea, who had come close to winning the transfer battle last summer, could re-enter the fray.
There is also interest from Manchester City and Arsenal and United will have to act fast and decisive if they are serious about winning this particular transfer race.
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