According to Mundo Deportivo, Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde and he could be the perfect replacement for Victor Lindelof.
Kounde finds himself on the Red Devils’ radar after previously being linked with a move to their arch-rivals Manchester City.
The Spanish outlet revealed that Sevilla rejected a €55m bid from Pep Guardiola’s side in the summer.
It’s also claimed Sevilla will not be easily persuaded to sell one of their prized assets as erstwhile Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui is loath to part with the centre-half. However, the Andalusian club are apparently willing to listen to offers in the region of €80m for Kounde.
Despite his age, the 22-year-old has been colossal at the back for Lopetegui’s side, as well as providing two goals in 18 appearances across all competitions, via WhoScored.
The Red Devils find themselves among a number of contenders jostling for position in the Premier League title race and it seems like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to strengthen his squad before the transfer window shuts in January.
United’s defensive struggles this season thus far have been well-documented, dating back to the defensive meltdown they endured during the humiliating 6-1 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur at the start of the season.
Ed Woodward splashed the cash to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester City and, after a tricky start to his time at Old Trafford, the England international has been a total revelation.
However, Solskjaer has struggled to find a defensive partner for the club captain, with Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and, to some extent, Axel Tuanzebe struggling for consistency alongside Maguire.
Whilst the La Liga giants are under no pressure to sell Kounde, whose contract will run out in 2024, he could be the long-term solution to United’s lingering problems at the back. Solskjaer’s side have conceded three goals in their past three games.
His manager Lopetegui told Marca amid rampant transfer speculation in the latter half of last year: “Jules is our player, he is an important part of the team.”
It’s clear as day that Kounde could be one for the future and he could be United’s starting centre-back for years to come if Woodward brings him to Old Trafford and he is able to hit the ground running.
He may not be the flashiest target, but he is certainly capable of being a very good player at the back. Add in his eye for a goal, coupled with the fact he has Champions League experience, and the youngster is already a well-rounded prospect.