Manchester United target offers summer option as Jules Kounde makes Sevilla admission
Man Utd: Solskjaer urges team to use Europa pain to rebuild
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One of Manchester United’s shortlisted transfer targets may have opened the door for a potential summer switch.
Jules Kounde has stated that he may have to leave La Liga side Sevilla in his pursuit of success, with his comments likely to pique the interest of both United and Chelsea, who are thought to be keen on the Frenchman as a potential summer signing.
Kounde made 48 appearances in all competitions for Sevilla in a season that saw the club finish fourth in La Liga, nine points adrift of champions Atletico Madrid.
But the 22-year-old’s performances in the heart of the Sevilla defence earned rave reviews, with the former French Under-21 international’s displays earning him a spot in Didier Deschamps’ 26-man French squad for this summer’s European Championships where, if selected, he will earn his first caps for the French senior side.
Kounde said he was “surprised, but very happy” to have made the French squad for the Euros, and he said he hopes to adapt quickly to life with Les Bleus ahead of the tournament.
“It’s a great honour to be here and I’m very happy to join this group,” he told reporters, via translation, during a press conference at the French team base at Clairefontaine.
“The integration is going pretty well. The group is quite open and easy to access. I was well received.
“I will try to do the best possible to bring me up to speed and bring what I can bring to this group “.
“The France A team, it’s hard to say from when it became a goal,” he continued.
“Maybe when I arrived in Sevilla, and I played more and more.
“That has always been present in my head, even if it was more or less distant.
“I always believed in it, I always worked for (it). Having this goal in my sights made that I was able to achieve the performances with Sevilla FC. “
Kounde fielded a host of questions about his qualities as a player and what he hopes to bring to the French squad this summer.
But the moment that will have alerted United and Chelsea came when he addressed his playing future and hinted that his future may lie away from Sevilla.
“Regarding my future, it is certain that I will perhaps be brought to change this summer, but nothing is acted yet, I did not decide anything,” he said.
“My objective is to evolve at a big club, to always try to progress and win trophies, too.
“I may have to move, but it is not on the agenda.”
Those comments could prove to be music to the ears of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is thought to be eyeing the transfer market for a regular defensive partner for Harry Maguire in the middle of the United back line.
United have also been strongly linked with a move for Villarreal’s Pau Torres, but Kounde’s potential availability could offer an alternative option if a move for the Spanish international becomes untenable.
It has been reported that Torres has a £56million release clause at Villarreal, while Kounde’s clause is reportedly set at around £69million.
Chelsea have also been linked with the Frenchman, as manager Thomas Tuchel looks to introduce fresh blood into his defensive lineup next season.
And, with international tournament renowned for inflating player values after strong performances on the global stage, both United and Chelsea may consider making a swift pre-Euro 2020 swoop to secure the Frenchman ahead of the tournament.
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