Manchester United and Leeds United have been beaten to the signing of Kouadio Kone from Toulouse, according to a report.
Borussia Monchengladbach are close to landing the 19-year-old, reports Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Leeds were believed to be keen on the player and retained their interest despite his price rising reportedly rising to €15million. His exit fee rose to that figure from €10million because AC Milan had opened initial negotiations.
More recently Manchester United have become ‘very interested’ in the Toulouse man.
Foot Mercato noted that the Red Devils had become contenders, adding that they were keeping a close watch on the player’s profile.
Toulouse are believed to have accepted a bid of €9million, while personal terms are also understood to have been agreed.
Serie A side Milan offered just €5m plus add-ons, but Toulouse have got a deal closer to the €10m they were after.
Box-to-box man Kone is expected to pen a five-and-a-half year contract. He will join Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea, who have both played in France.
Kone has made 17 appearances, scoring once in Ligue 2. He has been a major player in their surge into second place, but with his contract up in June 2022, Toulouse were happy to cash in.
Donny needs an explanation
Meanwhile, former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov says Donny van de Beek should be banging on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s door demanding to know why he is continually being snubbed.
The Holland midfielder was United’s headline signing over the summer when he arrived from Ajax for £35.7million. However, he has had a major struggle to make an impact at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old has made just two Premier League starts. He was also restricted to a three-minute cameo in the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to rivals Manchester City.
Van de Beek has suffered from Bruno Fernandes’ outstanding form in his preferred No.10 role. But Berbatov has questioned why he hasn’t been utilised elsewhere.
He told Betfair (as cited by Metro): “I don’t know what is going on with Donny Van de Beek. I said before he signed that I like him as a player. He was great for Ajax and his national team, but now he can’t get a game at United.
“I don’t watch the training sessions and the little time he does get on the pitch isn’t enough to judge him.”