KEY POINTS

  • Jules Kounde is contracted with Seville until 2024
  • He was Chelsea's top target last summer
  • He won the Nations League with France in 2020-21

Manchester United are reportedly planning to beat Chelsea in the race to sign Seville defender Jules Kounde ahead of the January transfer window.

The Red Devils are willing to meet Seville’s huge asking price of $93 million for Kounde as they are looking to resolve their defensive issues, reported Spanish media outlet Seville ABC.

Last summer, Kounde was one of Chelsea’s top targets. However, the Stamford Bridge side refused to abide to Seville’s demands of $93 million and were ready to pay a maximum fee of $58 million. It is believed that Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel still wants to secure Kounde, who is considered among the most talented young center-backs of the current generation.

The 22-year-old French defender, who is contracted with Seville until 2024, has once again been impressive this season. Being in the center of Seville’s defensive back-line, the La Liga side has so far conceded only seven goals in the league as they have 27 points from 12 games, as many as Real Madrid. Los Blancos are placed second in the table because of a superior goal difference than third-placed Seville.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are suffering from defensive issues in the ongoing Premier League campaign. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has already conceded 17 goals in 11 games as the Red Devils are placed sixth in the 2021-22 Premier League table. Chelsea are at the top of the table, having conceded only four goals, which shows Tuchel’s brilliant defense.

Even in the summer of 2021, Manchester United were among the clubs that were after Kounde, along with Chelsea. Once the focus was shifted to Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, the Red Devils had withdrawn from the race to sign Seville’s Kounde.

But now, Seville fear that the underway campaign could be Kounde’s last one with them as they believe Manchester United will trigger the French defender’s release clause in January, according to Spanish media outlet Diario AS.

Kounde rose through the ranks at Bordeaux before making his senior debut with the Ligue 1 side in 2018. He bagged crucial experience with Bordeaux, making 70 competitive appearances for them before he was signed by La Liga club Seville in the summer of 2019.

Sergio Oliveira of Portugal battles for possession with Jules Kounde of France
Sergio Oliveira of Portugal battles for possession with Jules Kounde of France Getty Images | Alex Livesey - UEFA/UEFA

While Seville secured Kounde at $29 million, the club is set to make a massive profit as the center-back has increased his value with consistent performances over the years. Kounde helped Seville win the Europa League in 2019-20 and was also a part of the France national team that won the UEFA Nations League in 2020-21.

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