KEY POINTS

  • Harry Maguire has received a lot of criticism lately
  • Maguire-led Man Utd have already lost four games in this season's league
  • Jules Kounde currently plays for Sevilla

Manchester United are reportedly very serious about signing Seville defender Jules Kounde during the 2022 January transfer window. 

The Red Devils are seeing Kounde as a replacement for struggling Harry Maguire, reported Spanish media outlet Todofichajes. Manchester United are currently struggling in the 2021-22 season and as a result, skipper Maguire has been on the receiving end of major criticism in recent times. 

Manchester United are looking for a new central defensive partner for their summer signing Raphael Varane and have turned their attention to 23-year-old Kounde, according to Goal.com

Kounde was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea last summer. But the Stamford Bridge side refused to meet Seville’s asking price of $93 million for Kounde and were ready to pay only up to $58 million. 

It has been reported that Manchester United are willing to meet Sevilla’s hefty demands for Kounde, who is considered among the most talented young center-backs of the current generation. 

While Sevilla have no intention to part ways with Kounde, the La Liga side is aware that it would be difficult to retain their center-back if the Red Devils came knocking their doors with an irresistible offer.  

Even during the 2021 summer market, Manchester United were in the race to sign Kounde, along with Chelsea. However, once the Old Trafford side shifted their focus to Varane, they withdrew their interest from the French defender. 

Being a vital cog of Seville’s defense, Kounde has been influential in Sevilla’s recent good form. 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.

In a recent interview during the underway international break, Kounde admitted that the failed transfer to Chelsea did affect him a bit but now he has “digested” it. 

“Has my failed transfer to Chelsea this summer affected me? Yes, a little bit, but now it’s digested,” Kounde was quoted by SB Nation, as saying in an interview.

Sergio Oliveira of Portugal battles for possession with Jules Kounde of France Sergio Oliveira of Portugal battles for possession with Jules Kounde of France Photo: Getty Images | Alex Livesey - UEFA/UEFA
On the other hand, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side is experiencing a tough phase, having lost four games already in the 2021-22 Premier League. After 11 matches into the league, Manchester United are placed sixth, nine behind leaders Chelsea.