Manchester United have earmarked Sevilla’s Jules Kounde as their number one transfer target as they aim to recruit a new first choice partner for the England international Harry Maguire.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been desperate to land a new centre-half during the summer market, but United were beaten by rivals Manchester City to the landing of the Netherlands international Nathan Ake.
United retain a long-standing interest in RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano but the Frenchman now appears destined to join Bayern Munich after the German’s club’s sporting director, Hasan Salihamidzic, revealed productive discussions had taken place between the two parties recently.
Die Roten senior figure said: ‘We had a good meeting with his agents yesterday. Let’s see what happens.’
According to a recent report by The Mirror, the Red Devils have cooled their interest in Dayot, who is also coveted by the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea, and will focus their efforts on signing £60m-rated Kunde.
The 22-year-old signed for the Spanish outfit from Bordeaux 18 months ago and has been regularly scouted by the Old Trafford side this season.
Kounde impressed United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during last season’s UEFA Europa League semi-final and the Norwegian tactician has seen enough to believe he is capable of representing Harry’s long-term central defensive partner.
Ole has been forced to rely on the likes of Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof at various points throughout the current season but is looking for an upgrade on those options.