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Man Utd still in race for Sevilla defender that City could not afford

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde has once again emerged as a transfer target for Manchester United, but others are also under consideration.

The Red Devils are currently enjoying a great run of form that sees them second in the Premier League standings. However, it is thought that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will still look to add new faces in January.

The transfer window opens on Friday and the biggest clubs will be linked to those deemed available. United were named as possible suitors for the France Under-21 stopper in the summer but nothing materialised.

Rivals Manchester City were thought to be at the front of the queue for his signature. But they baulked at the price and opted for Ruben Dias instead.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the Old Trafford giants still hold an interest in the talented youngster. However, the report also suggests that other defenders are on the club’s radar this winter.

Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu, Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and Brighton’s Ben White are being considered.

Kounde appears top of the list after excelling in his fledgling career to date. He made his debut as a teenager for Bordeaux, playing 70 times in all competitions across two seasons before moving to La Liga.

The Parisian made 40 appearances last term and has started 11 league games in 2020-2021, scoring once. United have been watching and his signing could herald the departure of some peripheral players.

Veterans set for exit

Sevilla hold all the aces when it comes to the future of Kounde as he is under contract until 2024. His release clause is said to be £72m and, in the current market, they may well hold out for that amount.

United will need to trim their backline to facilitate the move, with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo likely to be moved on. Rumours have persisted for some while that the duo were vulnerable.

Jones has not kicked a ball this season wile Rojo has enjoyed just 46 minutes of football. Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe are all above the pair in the pecking order.

One stumbling block to any swoop for the youngster might be champions Liverpool. The Reds’ need for a new defender has been well documented and they too were linked back in October.

Jurgen Klopp is having to make do with a makeshift defence at present. It is not known if they will firm up any possible interest in Kounde but Anfield would be an attractive proposition.


READ MORE: De Gea staying grounded

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