Manchester United in for £68m centre-back with June departure on his mind

Jules Kounde Sevilla April 2022

Manchester United will rival Chelsea for Sevilla star Jules Kounde this summer, according to a report in Spain.

Chelsea were in for the centre-back last summer only for the deal to collapse at the final hurdle. The fee that Sevilla were demanding is believed to have been the sticking point. Now with the France defender a year closer to the end of his contract in 2024, a deal looks likely.

Kounde has admitted that the failed move messed with his head this season.

“Did it affect me? Yes, a little bit, but now I’ve dealt with it,” said the 23-year-old to TF1 in November.

The experience last summer is understood to have seen Kounde mature as a person and a player. But, according to Marca, the defender will still look to leave in the next transfer window.

In fact “in June he wants to pack his bags, after three years of continuous growth”, report the Spanish outlet.

According to The Telegraph, Chelsea are planning another move for the France international. But they may not have it all their own way because Erik ten Hag’s United also want the player.

Chelsea may be looking for replacements for Antonio Rudiger and possibly Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen. While Ten Hag is looking to build a defence which will help improve a United side who currently sit 26 points behind the league leaders.

Kounde finding his form

Kounde has had a difficult season, but he has found some rhythm in the last few months. And with 27 LaLiga appearances this season, he has helped Sevilla concede the fewest goals in the league – 27 goals in 33 games.

That has led to Manchester United joining Chelsea with “eyes on” the player, whose release clause is set around the £68m mark.

The landscape in Spain has changed this season and Sevilla’s need for a big sale is “gigantic”. And unlike in previous years when club officials have blocked players sales, this summer they will likely be a lot more accommodating.

The third-placed LaLiga side have spent years resisting big-money departures. They have also agreed big deals for existing players, which now needs financially balancing.

The report claims the door is “wide open” with the biggest bidder likely to get their man.

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