Club chief sends Man Utd, Chelsea new warning over top summer target

Jules Kounde, Erling Haaland

Premier League heavy-hitters Man Utd and Chelsea have been warned off Jules Kounde by Sevilla president Jose Castro.

Kounde has emerged into one of the top centre-backs in La Liga over the past few seasons. He is also a full France international, having represented Les Blues on five occasions.

The player is mature and mobile, allowing him to read the game effectively and snuff out opposition attacks. It’s no surprise that some of Europe’s biggest teams are vying for his signature.

Chelsea attempted to land him during the summer but couldn’t get a deal over the line. They submitted a significant bid which was less than Kounde’s €80million release clause.

Man Utd eyed Kounde towards the start of the year before turning their attention to Raphael Varane. They have recently revived their interest as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unimpressed with the likes of Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones.

Kounde’s contract expires in June 2024, which means Sevilla are in no rush to sell. However, a bidding war is expected to begin next summer as Chelsea and Man Utd fight it out for his services.

During an interview with Spanish outlet AS, Castro was asked about Sevilla’s finances and whether they would have to sell any players next year.

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He said (via 90Min): “To say that the club is ruined is ridiculous. Last season we had a surplus, after a season without season tickets or ticket sales.

“Yes, the losses would have been solved by selling Kounde, but we showed that we are financially powerful by not accepting €50m. To say that the club is ruined is not caring for the club.”

It looks like either Premier League side will have to pay a premium for Kounde in 2022. The star will continue to be monitored until then.

Pundit makes Man Utd, Liverpool comparison

talkSPORT pundit Darren Ambrose has given his verdict on who is better – Liverpool’s Joel Matip or United captain Harry Maguire.

He said: “I think I am going to have to say Matip. Just seeing how Liverpool defend, listen Virgil van Dijk is the main reason for that, we’ve seen that when he was out of the team last season.”

The pundit reckons his choice is largely down to van Dijk’s impact on his team-mate. “I think it’s probably because of Van Dijk as well that I am picking Matip”, Ambrose added.

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“If he was with [Davinson] Sanchez or someone like that or even if he was next to Maguire, he’d probably not look as good or as comfortable as he does.

“I think given that he is with Virgil van Dijk, he looks very assured, tremendous player.

“He scored a good goal, Maguire. He’s come under a lot of criticism and he seems to come through it every time, for England and for Manchester United.

“I just think Matip has got that extra edge.”

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