Manchester United are reportedly lining up a January move for French defender Jules Kounde, for whom Sevilla are seeking a fee of €80 million.

According to a report from ABC Sevilla, Manchester United have set their sights on Jules Kounde ahead of the January transfer window, with the Red Devils set to launch an attempt to sign the Frenchman.

Kounde plies his trade with La Liga giants Sevilla and is one of the most coveted young defenders in Europe, thanks to his progress over the past couple of years. Having joined Los Nervionenses in the summer of 2019 from Bordeaux, the 22-year-old helped the club to the UEFA Europa League title in his debut season.

Kounde built on the solid campaign last year, helping Sevilla finish in the top four in La Liga and has carried on in the same vein of form this season as well. The centre-back, who can slot in at right-back, has also established a foothold in the French national team and was part of the team that won the UEFA Nations League last month.

Kounde was a top transfer target for Chelsea in the summer transfer window. But a move never materialised as the Blues were unwilling to meet Sevilla’s €80 million valuation and were only ready to go as high as €50 million. With the 22-year-old continuing to shine in La Liga, he has attracted more admirers in Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

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In fact, as per the report mentioned above, the Red Devils are ready to take the next step in their pursuit of the France international and launch an attempt to sign him in the upcoming January transfer window.

Manchester United’s defence has been abysmal in recent weeks. Summer signing Raphael Varane has done well since signing from Real Madrid but is out with an injury currently. In the meantime, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have been atrocious, which has reflected in the number of goals they have conceded in recent games.

With Phil Jones headed for the exit doors in January, Manchester United could use the addition of another quality centre-half to the ranks, especially if the likes of Maguire and Lindelof fail to improve their current form. Kounde, to that end, can be a top signing for the 20-time English champions, as he has the ability to bolster their backline.

However, Sevilla will once again demand a sum of €80 million for the Frenchman. Considering that they spent big in the summer, it will be interesting to see whether Manchester United are ready to splash that kind of amount on Kounde come January.

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