Manchester United are reportedly keen to add Sevilla defender Jules Kounde to their ranks this summer despite the imminent arrival of Raphael Varane.
According to the Daily Mail, United are preparing a move for the 22-year-old after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made defensive reinforcements one of his top priorities for the current window.
Kounde is thought to have been on the Old Trafford club’s shortlist for some time, with his profile fitting the type of player that the Red Devils are now targeting.
Since arriving at Sevilla from boyhood club Bordeaux back in July 2019, the France international has established himself as one of Europe’s most promising centre-backs.
The youngster has formed a formidable partnership alongside Diego Carlos at the heart of the Andalucians’ defence over the last couple of campaigns, making 89 appearances for the La Liga outfit and winning the Europa League along the way.
Kounde built on his fabulous first season in Spanish football last term, putting in a string of standout performances as Sevilla finished fourth in La Liga. As per WhoScored, the £54m-rated gem managed 1.2 interceptions per league game, 2.9 clearances and 0.5 blocks, placing him in the top three amongst his teammates for all metrics.
His magnificent displays have earned numerous plaudits, including La Liga expert Euan McTear, who recently lauded Kounde in an interview with Football Transfer Tavern.
“He’s still so young, he’s got energy, great positioning too. All the centre-backs, not just in Spain, I think, but if you look around Europe, he’s got to be one of the highest prospects,” said McTear.
“To be playing for France who have countless centre-backs, if he’s able to get himself into that group, then, yeah, he’s pretty special.”
With Varane’s expected arrival at Old Trafford significantly strengthening Solskjaer’s options at the heart of defence, securing a new defensive midfielder should undoubtedly be the Norwegian’s next priority.
However, if enough funds are left in United’s transfer budget, then departing chief executive Ed Woodward must swoop for Kounde over the coming months.
He played at full-back for France during Euro 2020, showcasing his ability to play in a variety of positions, and his arrival would be another major coup for the 20-time English champions.