Manchester United are seemingly ready to pounce if Barcelona defender Jules Kounde become available this summer, with the French international seemingly angling for a swift exit from Camp Nou.
According to Catalan outlet, Sport, the Red Devils and Premier League rivals Chelsea are both said to be keen on making a move for the 24-year-old ahead of next season, with the former Sevilla man seemingly unsatisfied with his current role under Xavi.
The report suggests that the Paris native - who only joined the La Liga giants on a £42m deal last summer - could potentially be in line for a departure amid that frustration, with a fee of roughly €75m (£65m) having been mooted.
As per 90min, La Blaugrana have seemingly been 'surprised' by the 5 foot 11 gem's desire to move on after just a year at the club, with the player believed to be unhappy at having played predominantly in a right-back berth this season for the Spanish champions.
If Erik ten Hag and co are to snap up the 19-cap sensation this summer, the one-time Bordeaux ace could seemingly return to his usual centre-back berth, with the Old Trafford outfit likely to be in need of further depth in that position amid the uncertainty surrounding Harry Maguire's future.
The signing of Kounde could well provide quality cover and competition for his compatriot, Raphael Varane, with Ten Hag likely to be in need of a quality understudy to the latter man due to his persistent injury woes.
While Varane has been a key figure for the top-four hopefuls this season and is a "proven world-class defender" - as per pundit Paul Robinson - the 30-year-old has regularly endured spells on the treatment table, having missed 15 games already this term with a variety of issues.
With the former Real Madrid hero also not getting any younger, the addition of Kounde could well be with an eye on the long-term as well as providing short-term depth, with the Barcelona man also a player with "world-class potential", as per talent scout Jacek Kulig.
The £230k-per-week rock - who has also been described as "simply awesome" by Kulig - seemingly possesses a similar ball-winning quality to that of his international colleague having averaged 1.3 tackles and 0.7 interceptions per game in La Liga this season, while Varane has averaged one tackle and 0.5 interceptions in that time.
One benefit that Kounde may have is his superior quality on the ball as he ranks in the top 2% among those in his position in Europe's top five leagues for both progressive carries and progressive passes, while the current United man ranks in just the top 43% and the 26% for those same two metrics, respectively.
That should indicate that Kounde can be a worthy competitor for Varane next season, while also eventually taking over the World Cup winner's starting berth in the years to come.2023-05-26T05:23:34Z dg43tfdfdgfd