Real Madrid ‘join race’ to sign Sevilla centre back Jules Kounde as Zinedine Zidane looks to persuade defender to reject Chelsea and Manchester United approaches and remain in Spain
- Real Madrid have reportedly joined to race to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde
- Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked to the French centre back
- Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane face uncertain futures in Madrid backline
- Manchester City were heavily linked to Kounde before signing Ruben Dias
Real Madrid are believed to be keen to fend off Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have been linked with the centre back in recent weeks, who has impressed in his two years in Spain since joining from Bordeaux in 2019, and rumours in Spain suggested the Blues would be willing to use Hakim Ziyech as a makeweight to secure the deal.
Manchester United are also reportedly keeping tabs on Kounde, with an eye to pairing him up with Harry Maguire next season should they secure the services of the 22-year-old.
Real Madrid have reportedly joined the race to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde this summer
Zinedine Zidane is hopeful he can persuade Kounde to reject Chelsea and Manchester United
However, according to AS, Zinedine Zidane wants to persuade Kounde to stay in Spain and move to Madrid this summer, and bolster a backline that faces several questions.
The futures of Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos are uncertain, with the latter’s contract running out this summer and Varane repeatedly linked with a move away.
David Alaba looks set to arrive in Madrid at the end of the season, but the Spanish side also reportedly want to add either Kounde or Villarreal’s Pau Torres to their ranks.
Madrid are unwilling to pay the Frenchman’s full release clause of £78m, as are United and Chelsea, though would be open to a potential £52m move as well as including a player in the deal.
Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos both face uncertain futures at the heart of Madrid’s defence
Kounde was rumoured to be a target for Manchester City last season, with the English side having a big rejected, leading to Sevilla’s Director of Football Monchi commenting on the situation and the defender’s fututre.
‘An offer from English football has arrived, we have assessed it and rejected it,’ Monchi said at the time.
‘Although it is more than double the investment we made 12 months ago, we consider it to be insufficient. If more offers arrive, we will assess it and decide, as we always do.
‘We are not afraid to sell, because that is what we have done over the last two decades and that is what has allowed us to grow.
The 22-year-old defender has impressed ever since joining Sevilla in 2019 from Bordeaux
‘It is our model, selling in order to grow. But we want to sell for a significant amount so that we can reinvest those amounts in new players who in turn improve the squad.’
Kounde, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this season, has played 44 matches in all competitions for Sevilla this campaign, chipping in with four goals for his side.
Under Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla have enjoyed a superb season, sitting fourth in La Liga and firmly in the title race with five matches to go.
They travel to Madrid to face Zidane’s side next week, in a match which could have huge consequences at the top of the table.
Under Julen Lopetegui Sevilla have enjoyed a successful season and remain in the title race
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