Barcelona could rival Real Madrid and Manchester United in pursuit of Jules Kounde, who is reportedly a target for soon-to-be manager Xavi.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Jules Kounde could soon be courted by another big-name suitor if Xavi is appointed as the new Barcelona manager, as is widely expected. Real Madrid and Manchester United are also tailing the 22-year-old Sevilla defender.

Jules Kounde has established himself as one of the best defenders in La Liga since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux in the summer of 2019. A mainstay at the back for the Andalusian club, the French defender has also managed to break into his national side and is starting to carve out a place for himself as a regular.

To date, the 22-year-old has made 100 appearances for Sevilla, chipping in with six goals and two assists in the process. Kounde’s progress in the last two years has captured the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United currently among his prospective suitors.

Barcelona are the latest entrants in the race to sign Kounde, with the Catalan giants set to turn their attention towards him at the behest of Xavi. The Barcelona legend has created a shortlist of targets to complete the overhaul of the squad he will have at his disposal as soon as his appointment as Ronald Koeman’s successor is formalised, as is widely expected.

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To that end, Kounde is a viable target for the Blaugrana, who would invariably need to enter the market for a centre-back for a second successive summer amid the uncertainties surrounding the futures of Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti. As for Real Madrid, they suffered a fair bit due to their decision to not bring in as many replacements for Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.

While David Alaba appears to be settling down well at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Austrian has also been used as a left-back, leaving Eder Militao as the only other reliable performer at the back. As a result, the interest in Kounde is understandable as he could create a long-term central defensive partnership with Militao, leaving Nacho as a backup option.

Finally, Manchester United are also keen on signing the French international, with recent reports claiming that the Red Devils are set to open talks with him. However, the interest in Kounde does not make much sense, despite the inconsistencies of Harry Maguire this term, considering Victor Lindelof is also an option at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s disposal.

Nevertheless, it looks like Manchester United could be making their move for Kounde, who will yet again be a sought-after player in the transfer market. What remains to be seen is if Barcelona enter the battle for the 22-year-old, rivalling Real Madrid and Manchester United in the process.

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