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Man Utd ‘favourites’ to sign €55m Barcelona star as defensive quartet are told to leave in mass firesale

Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia and Jules Kounde are up for sale at Barcelona

Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia and Jules Kounde are up for sale at Barcelona

Barcelona have reportedly told four defenders they will be made available for transfer this summer as the LaLiga giants look to free up transfer funds – with Manchester United seemingly at the front of the queue in the race to sign one of these in Jules Kounde.

The Blaugrana have been dogged by financial issues for a number of years now, consistently sailing close to the wind when it comes to keeping within the rules of the game and FFP limitations. With former Chelsea man Deco now at the helm, it is down to the Portuguese to juggle the club’s assets as best he can and ensure funds remain available for team strengthening and to keep Barcelona in touch with the very best in both Spanish and European football.

And ahead of the summer window, Sport reports that the Blaugrana have already made it clear to agents of four respective players that the Spanish giants will listen to offers for their services this summer.

Given Barcelona are well covered in the centre of defence, it’s no surprise that Deco has reportedly now come forward with plans to offload a quartet of centre-halves to free up both funds for new signings and space in their squad.

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And per the article, all of Kounde, Andreas Christensen, Eric Garcia and Clement Lenglet have all been served notice ahead of the summer window.

Indeed, such a decision has beem made significantly easy by the form of Ronald Araujo, who is now established as their number one centre-half, together with the emergence of talented teenager Pau Cubarsi.

Prem clubs alerted as Barca tell Christensen, Garcia, Lenglet to leave

The 17-year-old has made 12 appearances this season, putting in a Man of the Match display as the Blaugrana booked a place in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 second-leg victory over Napoli on Tuesday evening.

As a result, Barcelona are keen to tie ring-fence their latest teenage star down to a new with his current arrangement due to expire in summer 2026.

On the flipside, the fact that Barcelona now know their first-choice options has given Deco the freedom to sanction the sales of four other defensive options at the Nou Camp.

Christensen arrived on a free-transfer from Chelsea in summer 2022 and has played 64 times over his two seasons so far. However, amid interest from the likes of Tottenham and Newcastle, they are open to his possible sale this summer and with a return to the Premier League likely.

Barca can also expect to make a profit on another free-transfer capture in Garcia, who moved to the Nou Camp in summer 2021 after the expiry of his deal at Manchester City.

The 23-year-old has spent this season on loan with Girona, where his displays have caught the eye and fired Michel’s side towards an unlikely title challenge.

But having seen his career reinvigorated by the loan, his parent club are now reportedly eager to cash in and secure funds for his sale.

Lenglet, meanwhile, has also spent the last two seasons out on loan with Tottenham last term and Aston Villa this. However, he too has been freed to leave with both players’ deals due to expire in summer 2026.

Man Utd lead the charge to sign Jules Kounde

However, perhaps the biggest defensive sale they will make this summer will be on another centre-half in Kounde, who also finds himself seemingly up for grabs.

The France star moved in a €55m deal in summer 2022, opting to sign for the Catalan giants ahead of rival interest from Chelsea.

He has gone on to make 75 appearances so far but is yet to truly establish himself in his first-choice position in central defence, figuring more often instead at right-back.

Now according to Sport, Barcelona are ready to listen to offers for the 25-year-old and are looking to get their initial £47m investment back on the 24-times capped France international.

They claim the hunt for his services is being led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and United, who are ‘favourites’ for his signature and see Kounde’s ability to cover a number of positions across the backline of particular appeal.

Claiming United are ‘very, very interested’ in Kounde, it’s reported that officials from the Red Devils are preparing an approach to Barca to gauge their chances of striking a deal quickly and ahead of the opening of the summer window.

Should he depart, Barcelona can rely on experienced defender Inigo Martinez as cover, while loan star Joao Cancelo has shown his versatility by covering a number of different positions.

United will likely be heavy spenders themselves this summer, with a number of high-profile names also expected to leave and as Ratcliffe and Co get to work on revitalising the Red Devils’ squad.

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