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Manchester United target Barcelona defender for summer swoop

United’s ongoing search for a centre-back has led the team to join Arsenal in a race for one of Barcelona’s star defenders.

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Erik ten Hag in press conference
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The defensive lineup at Old Trafford is already set to look very different next season.

With Lisandro Martinez as the only centre-back that United have marked as ‘unsellable’ and Raphael Varane having already left the club at the end of his contract, no-one appears to be safe at the Premier League club if the right offer comes in.

Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Willy Kambwala all have one year left on their contract, with the club favouring a sale this summer rather than losing them for free at the end of their contracts. However, of the three in the final year of their tenure, Lindelof is the only one drawing attention with Turkish outfit Fenerbahce reportedly considering a swoop for the Swedish international.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder there has been so much speculation around centre-back targets that are linked to an Old Trafford move.

United’s main target in this position is Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, with the club agreeing personal terms for the English centre-back of a weekly fee in the region of between £150,000 and £160,000. Despite the agreement of personal terms, no agreement has been made with Everton, with United’s initial bid of £35 million being deemed as too low by the Toffees who are holding out for £70 million.

Elsewhere it’s known that initial transfer talks have been had with OGC Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo, whilst Juventus’ Gleison Bremer has also been a key target.

Now, United are turning to Barcelona’s Jules Kounde to join the squad, joining the race with Premier League rivals Arsenal also enquiring about the French defender.

At the age of 25, Kounde is at the top end of United’s new transfers policy, looking for under-25-year-olds who have heaps of potential to rejuvenate the squad. However, the decorated defender, with a La Liga title, Europa League title, UEFA Nations League title and Spanish Super Cup title all to his name is a proven talent, being a key part of Barcelona’s defence, having played 88 games for the Spanish club, with a further 28 international caps for the French national team, including being a part of the current squad competing in the European Championships in Germany.

Reports from Football365 suggest that Manchester United have already put in an offer of £33 million for the defender, commenting that he could be ‘sacrificed’ by Barcelona in their need to sell some of their key assets before they can make any further purchases this summer.

The report goes on to say: “According to sources, United would be willing to put 40 million euros as an initial offer. For this price, Joan Laporta is clear: he is not selling.”

It continues: “However, if the 60 million is reached, a figure more in line with what Barcelona paid for his signing, he will agree, against his will and that of Flick, to enter into a negotiation.”

 

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