The Daily Retina
Jules Kounde, a defender for Barcelona, is reportedly looking to leave Camp Nou as soon as possible, and Manchester United is prepared to seize the opportunity.
What has changed since Kounde joined Man United?
The 24-year-old former Sevilla player is reportedly dissatisfied with his current position under Xavi, and Sport of Catalonia reports that both the Red Devils and Premier League foe Chelsea are interested in making a deal for him ahead of next season.
According to the report, a figure of approximately €75 million (£65 million) has been suggested for the Paris native, who just recently joined the La Liga giants on a £42 million move last summer.
According to 90min, La Blaugrana have reportedly been “surprised” by the 5-foot-11 wonder’s wish to leave the club after just one season. The player is reportedly dissatisfied with having spent most of this season playing right-back for the Spanish champions.
Must Man United acquire Kounde?
The former Bordeaux star may conceivably revert to his customary center-back position if Erik ten Hag and company manage to sign the 19-cap phenomenon this summer. The Old Trafford team will certainly require more depth in that position given the uncertainty surrounding Harry Maguire’s future.
Due to Raphael Varane’s ongoing injury problems, the purchase of Kounde may potentially provide quality competition and cover for his countryman. Ten Hag is also likely to need a quality understudy for Varane.
Varane has been a key player for the top-four contenders this season and is a “proven world-class defender,” according to commentator Paul Robinson, but the 30-year-old frequently spends time in the hospital and has already missed 15 games this season due to a variety of ailments.
The recruitment of Kounde, a player with “world-class potential,” according to talent scout Jacek Kulig, may have been made with a view towards the long term as well as providing short-term depth, as the former Real Madrid hero is also getting older.
With an average of 1.3 tackles and 0.7 interceptions per game in La Liga this season, compared to Varane’s one tackle and 0.5 interceptions over the same period, the £230k per week rock, who Kulig has also referred to as “simply awesome,” appears to possess a similar ball-winning quality to that of his international colleague.
In Europe’s top five leagues, Kounde ranks in the top 2% of players in his position for both progressive carries and progressive passes, while the current United player only ranks in the top 43% and 26% for those same two metrics, respectively. This suggests that Kounde may have an advantage in this area.
That should suggest that Kounde can challenge Varane in the upcoming season and eventually take over the World Cup winner’s starting position.
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