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Manchester United and Chelsea set to battle for Sevilla star Jules Kounde

Manchester United are ready to fight to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with fellow Premier League rivals Chelsea also reportedly interested.

The 23-year-old has a 68 million pound release clause which both clubs would have to trigger to prize him away from the Spanish club, where he has become an integral part of Julen Lopetegui‘s team.

Chelsea bid for the Frenchman last summer but were unable to agree a fee with Sevilla, which quashed the deal back in August.

The Blues however are the most likely to try again in January as they hope the valuation of the player has decreased enough that they can come to agreeable terms.

Thomas Tuchel is very keen to make Kounde a part of his back three, with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta all out of contract next summer.

At present, there are no signs of anyone penning a new deal at Stamford Bridge, as Barcelona are monitoring Azpilicueta‘s situation while Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are keen on Rudiger.

Botman or Lacroix

Other alternatives for the Blues could be Lille defender Sven Botman or Wolfsburg powerhouse Maxence Lacroix, who are both closely monitored by the European champions.

United though are light themselves in central defence, with injuries hitting their players at different times and leaving an unsettled partnership in front of in-form goalkeeper David de Gea.

Raphael Varane has experienced injury troubles since joining from Real Madrid in the summer and Harry Maguire has also missed games this season, leaving Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly as the club’s only fit defenders at times.

The situation is a little more unclear at Old Trafford though with Ralf Rangnick only in charge until the end of the season and a new permanent manager not having been announced yet, which could scupper their plans of bringing in fresh faces to the north west.

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