Manchester United are close to signing Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane, whom they hope to team up with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde next season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the lookout for a long-term partner for Harry Maguire and had initially been considering 22-year-old Kounde, only to switch focus to Varane when it became clear the senior Frenchman wanted out of Real.
It seemed as though United‘s mind was made up, but according to the Daily Mail, there are actually plans to make two blockbuster signings at the back and club officials are working on a deal to sign Kounde as well.
Chelsea, Tottenham and Real Madrid are all chasing the Sevilla man, but Solskjaer has made it clear to those in charge at United that he wants Kounde around as well – and plans are already being put in place to offer the 22-year-old the chance to move to Old Trafford.
It’s a move which doesn’t really make a lot of sense on paper. Should both Varane and Kounde join, one of them would be regularly sat on the bench, although it is suggested that Kounde’s future could lie at right-back.
Again, that doesn’t make much sense either. United already have Aaron Wan-Bissaka and are pursuing Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier, so there really isn’t any space in the squad for Kounde whatsoever.
Because of the lack of first-team guarantees he would get, it’s hard to see Kounde taking United up on their offer, especially when there are other top sides ready to build their defence around him.
The Kounde move may be unlikely, but the prospect of Varane joining United appears almost certain at this point as the Red Devils are close to agreeing a fee with Real.
United are expected to pay around €45m (£38.5m) for the Frenchman, although Marca suggest that the final fee could be a little higher and rest at closer to the €50m (£43m) mark.
Once that deal is done, United will turn to other targets, but it’s hard to see them spending too much time on Kounde.