Man Utd suffer blow in £55m centre-back chase as big-name duo join race

Date published: Sunday 14th February 2021 12:59 - Rob McCarthy

Jules Kounde TEAMtalk

Manchester United are facing a major fight to land Jules Kounde, with Barcelona and Real Madrid reportedly joining the chase for the Sevilla centre-back.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in the market for an elite centre-back to partner Harry Maguire next season.

Question marks remain over the ability of both Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. Both players have had their moments for United, but have also been vulnerable at times.

Kounde has emerged as a United target in recent weeks, with top target Dayot Upamecano heading to Bayern Munich.

However, it will not be plain sailing for the Red Devils in their chase for the £55million-rated star.

A report in the Sun on Sunday claims that both LaLiga giants are keen on the 23-year-old.

Kounde only joined Sevilla in the summer of 2019 from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux.

He has since gone on to make 63 appearances, winning the Europa League last season after victory against Inter Milan.

Indeed, Frenchman Kounde has emerged as one of the top centre-back talents in Spanish football.

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Real, Barca in the hunt

Real are looking to rebuild their back line, with Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos both tipped to leave this summer.

Club skipper Ramos has stalled on signing a new contract, with his current deal expiring in June.

And Madrid chiefs have claimed they could also cash-in on Varane for around £44m.

United have been linked with both players, although Kounde would cost signifcantly less in salary terms.

Barcelona, meanwhile, are keen to bringing in Kounde to bolster their leaky defence.

The Nou Camp side have shipped 24 goals from their 21 games this season. Sevilla, in comparison, having conceded just 16 goals from 22 matches.

The report adds that Ronald Koeman is looking at Kounde to replace veteran star Gerard Pique, 34.

READ MORE: Man Utd veteran facing return to homeland amid contract inaction

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