Manchester United unwilling to meet Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde’s £68m release clause


Manchester United unwilling to meet Jules Kounde’s £68m release clause but retain interest in Sevilla centre-back…. with LaLiga side keen not to sell centre-back for less than market value amid financial hit due to Covid-19

  • Jules Kounde is considered one of the best centre-back prospects in Europe 
  • The Sevilla defender, 22, was the subject of interest from Manchester City 
  • Man United are keen on the Frenchman but are reluctant to pay enormous fees 
  • Sevilla’s valuation prompted City to accelerate their £62m move for Ruben Dias

Manchester United are continuing to monitor Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde though will be reluctant to meet his £68million buy-out clause.

The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the best centre-back prospects in Europe over the past 18 months, underlined by Manchester City’s attempts to sign him last summer.

Sevilla recognise the increasing clamour to sign Kounde but with their own finances hit by the Covid pandemic they do not wish to let him go for less than his market value.

Manchester United will be reluctant to meet Jules Kounde's £68million buy-out clause

Manchester United will be reluctant to meet Jules Kounde’s £68million buy-out clause

Kounde was tracked by Manchester City last summer

Manchester United are continuing to monitor the Sevilla centre-back

Kounde is one of the best defensive prospects and United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen

Sevilla’s valuation prompted Manchester City to accelerate their £62m move for Benfica’s Ruben Dias who has since proved an astute signing. Sevilla sporting director Monchi admitted their asking price may have been inflated but he has a duty to protect the club’s future.

‘Despite being a magnificent offer, very, very good, it did not satisfy the requests or what we thought of the player,’ he told El Desmarque. ‘Perhaps it was not what he was worth, because possibly that offer was close to what he was worth at that moment but we also have to think about what he can be worth [in the future].’

Monchi has gone on to praise the young Frenchman’s attitude since City’s offer, as he continues to progress, making 32 appearances this season and scoring three goals.

United, and others, have taken a keen interest but, while centre back is a priority position, the Old Trafford club are mindful of paying what they consider inflated prices in the current climate.

Sevilla's valuation prompted City to accelerate their £62m move for Ruben Dias (right)

Sevilla’s valuation prompted City to accelerate their £62m move for Ruben Dias (right)

The covid pandemic continues to hit finances and the shoots of recovery could still be some way off despite Boris Johnson’s roadmap.

United want to improve their squad and will back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but do not envisage paying fees such as £68m for a centre-back or £100m for long-time target Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund this summer with the hope that asking prices become what they consider to be more realistic.

United have also been offered Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic, who was the subject of a bid from West Ham in the summer, but is not high on Solskjaer’s list. Borussia Dortmund are keen.

Meanwhile, United’s players underwent scheduled Covid testing on Tuesday ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League tie with Real Sociedad. Several of Solskjaer’s coaching staff are continuing to self isolate after returning positive tests last week.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi said their asking price for Kounde may have been inflated

Sevilla sporting director Monchi said their asking price for Kounde may have been inflated

United have also been offered Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic, but is not high on Solskjaer's list

United have also been offered Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic, but is not high on Solskjaer’s list