Real Madrid have reportedly set sights on Sevilla defender Jules Kounde to replace Raphael Varane, who is headed to Manchester United.
According to a report from L’Equipe, as relayed by Le10 Sport, Real Madrid are preparing for the departure of defensive stalwart Raphael Varane to Manchester United and have identified his compatriot Jules Kounde as the man to replace the Frenchman.
Varane’s ten-year successful stint at Real Madrid is set to come to an end imminently as a move to Manchester United is all but done, with a medical scheduled this week. It will come as a major blow for Los Blancos, who also happened to lose club icon and former captain Sergio Ramos this summer, following the expiry of his contract.
While David Alaba has arrived on a free transfer to fill the hole, with Varane also set to depart, Real Madrid will need to dip their toes into the market once again for a new central defender, considering that, apart from Alaba, they have only Nacho and Eder Militao as established options at the heart of the defence.
To that end, it seems like the Merengues are set to raid fellow La Liga club Sevilla for the signing of Jules Kounde. The 22-year-old joined Los Nervionenses in 2019 from Bordeaux in France and has quickly gone about establishing himself as one of the topmost young centre-halves across Europe.
Having helped Sevilla win the UEFA Europa League in his debut season, Kounde played an integral role in their top-four finish in La Liga last time out. His exploits have led to interest from several top clubs across Europe, with Real Madrid also among them.
The report mentions that Kounde, who is contracted to Sevilla till 2024 and has a massive release clause worth €80 million, would be interested in joining Real Madrid this summer. It is also mentioned that the 22-year-old asked about the club to international teammates Varane and Karim Benzema during the recently-concluded UEFA Euro 2020.
Interestingly, though, Real Madrid might face competition from Manchester United for Kounde. Indeed, despite closing in on the capture of Varane, the Red Devils want another centre-back and are plotting a raid on Sevilla for the Frenchman. Whether that materialises or not remains to be seen, but Los Blancos will still have their task cut out to land Kounde owing to their difficult financial situation.