Real Madrid have reportedly set their sights on RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Jules Kounde of Sevilla as potential options to bolster their defence.
According to a report from Spanish publication Defensa Central, reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid have identified Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig and Jules Kounde of Sevilla as their top summer targets should club captain Sergio Ramos leave.
An iconic figure for the Merengues, Ramos is in the final few months of his contract. Talks over a new contract have not yielded a positive result as of yet, casting serious doubts over his future, with reports even claiming that the 35-year-old would favour a transfer to Manchester United when his current deal runs out.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is intent on ensuring that Ramos stays put at the club owing to him being a major influence on the team on and off the pitch. However, if the club fails to come to an agreement with the captain over a new contract, the Frenchman has identified two of his compatriots, Upamecano and Kounde, as potential replacements.
Upamecano has become one of the most sought-after centre-backs in Europe heading into the summer transfer window due to a €42 million release clause that kicks in at the end of the season. Given his age and potential and the fact that he already has plenty of top-level experience with RB Leipzig makes him an attractive prospect.
As a result, a host of clubs like Chelsea, Bayern Munich among others have registered an interest in the 22-year-old. Now, Real Madrid too have identified him as a prospective signing in the summer transfer window, should Ramos fail to put pen to paper on a new contract.
Apart from Upamecano, Los Blancos‘ manager Zidane has also identified Kounde as another alternative for Ramos. The Sevilla centre-back, who is also 22 years old, has been extremely impressive since making the jump to Spain in 2019, helping his team to the UEFA Europa League triumph in his debut campaign.
Kounde has carried on from where he left off last term, catching the eye of the onlookers with consistent solid displays at the heart of the Sevilla defence. Given his age and scope for development, coupled with the exposure in La Liga, it is understandable as to why Zidane has set his sights on the 22-year-old.
However, Real Madrid could have to battle Manchester United if they pursue Kounde, with the Red Devils making him a top priority for the summer window. Apart from these two names, that are said to be Zidane’s preferences, Real Madrid are also considering Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres as well as Bayern Munich contract rebel David Alaba as alternatives for Ramos.
For now, though, the intention remains to try and convince the captain to sign an extension. However, if that fails, it will be interesting to see who the La Liga champions go after in the summer transfer window.