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Manchester United have made Sevilla defender Jules Kounde their top target ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports. The Frenchman is now regarded as one of the best centre-backs in Europe following his dramatic rise to prominence in Andalusia.
Kounde arrived at Sevilla from Bordeaux in the summer of 2019 for a fee of £22million.
He has now made that look cheap with Sevilla now set to overturn mega-profits with thanks to their incredible recruitment model.
Kalidou Koulibaly has been priced out of a move away from Napoli and a host of European giants are now in the running for Kounde, who looks set to become one of the best centre-backs in the world.
According to The Mirror, Manchester United have decided that Kounde is their priority this summer.
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The 22-year-old would cost up to £60million and would slot straight into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backline.
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have shared the responsibilities as Harry Maguire’s partner this season but both have failed to nail down a spot in the starting XI.
Kounde recently revealed he came close to join United’s rivals Manchester City last summer.
Pep Guardiola phoned the defender and even promised him regular minutes in a bid to convince him to move to the Etihad Stadium.
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The move failed to materialise though and instead City opted to sign Ruben Dias from Benfica.
He has been immense in his debut season in the Premier League but City could now see Kounde join their noisy neighbours.
“I spoke with Pep Guardiola on the phone. We talked in Spanish,” Kounde told Canal+.
“It went well. I was interested in going [to City]. I had guarantees to play. But that did not happen.”
Sevilla chief Monchi has since admitted that the club turned down City’s “magnificent offer” for Kounde because they didn’t want to lose him after just one year at the club.
“We did what we thought was fair and in defence of the interests of the club, also in an ambitious way, because many people would have chosen to accept that offer,” he told El Desmarque.
“We value pros and cons and believe in the player, that has been key. We believe in the projection of a 21-year-old boy with a lot of ground to make up.
“Despite being a magnificent offer, very, very good, it did not satisfy the requests or what we thought of the player.
“Perhaps it was not what he was worth, because possibly that offer was close to what he was worth at that moment but we also have to think about what he can be worth [in the future].”
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