Manchester United’s chase for a new centre-back is well underway and a clear target pecking has emerged, according to a source in Spain.
With United already agreeing a deal in principle for Jadon Sancho, John Murtough is now thought to be looking to push forward their search for a new defender.
The Red Devils announced the news on their official website earlier this month. Indeed, they followed Dortmund, who also announced the deal . The confirmation ended a transfer chase lasting over 12 months for the England winger.
Two names who have featured heavily in the speculation are Real Madrid’s Raphaal Varane and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
United have “reactivated their interest” in France international Kounde, who in May suggested he could look to move on.
“My goal is to play in a big club to try to always progress and to win trophies. I might have to move, but that’s not relevant today,” Kounde said
La Colina de Nervión explain that United “do not forget” the 22-year-old Sevilla defender.
The Sevilla news outlet also state United and Manchester City have been trailing Kounde for the “longest time”.
It has also been reported that Spanish giants Real Madrid have entered the picture. Most probably to replace Varane, who looks likely to leave the Bernabeu.
La Colina de Nervión suggest United’s £72.9m investment in Sancho apparently “makes it impossible” for them to meet Monchi’s demands of around €80m for Kounde.
That has led United to focus their attention on Varane. The Old Trafford club “do not lose sight” of Kounde, but Varane is believed to be their preferred target.
Murtough though could still turn to Kounde if Varane is not a viable option.
Spanish publication Sport claims the player has already ‘given his word’ to the club that he wants to join.
The Bernabeu giants want around €60m for the 28-year-old, who has one year left on his contract.
Varane is said to want a deal wrapped up within a two-week deadline, as he ends a 10-year stay in Spain.
And Rio Ferdinand has already admitted to sending Varane a text pointing him to Old Trafford.
In an Instagram Q&A with his followers, Ferdinand responded to a fan who said: “Can you drop Varane a text since you were his idol?”
He replied: “Already have done. Agent Ferdy.”