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Man Utd must beat Chelsea & Newcastle to signing of Jules Kounde

Manchester United must beat Chelsea and Newcastle United to the signing of Barcelona defender Jules Kounde this summer.

The Red Devils could make multiple changes to their backline ahead of next season with several players expected to head for the exit door.

Centre-back duo Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans have their contracts expiring on June 30 and could be released with no renewal plans in mind.

Right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka could also be sold in the coming months. He will enter the final year of his contract in July.

Barcelona’s Kounde could be an ideal replacement for Varane and Wan-Bissaka with his ability to play in both defensive positions.

Mundo Deportivo claim United are one of the clubs interested in Kounde, but they face competition from Chelsea, Newcastle United, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

The Nerazzurri are unlikely to be able to afford him with their financial troubles while PSG may not be a lucrative career option for the Frenchman.

This could leave United, Chelsea and Newcastle vying for the former Sevilla man. Barcelona seem prepared to sell him to balance their books.

United must beat Chelsea & Newcastle to Kounde signing

United have had a tough time with injuries this season. Varane has already missed 12 games and it is unclear whether he will recover from a muscle injury before the FA Cup final.

The club seem to have decided to part ways with the World Cup winner. His compatriot Kounde would be an ideal replacement.

The Frenchman is a strong ball-playing defender with a passing accuracy of 91 percent this term. He has won 56 percent of his duels with 4.6 recoveries and 2.4 clearances per game.

His statistics are very impressive, considering he started the campaign as a regular centre-back before becoming a mainstay at right-back under manager Xavi Hernandez.

United will need a new right-back with Wan-Bissaka potentially leaving on a cut-price deal. Signing Kounde would allow the club to sort out two positions with a solitary signing.

Kounde could be a regular starter in the heart of the defence. He could be deployed at right back if Diogo Dalot is unavailable or fails to reach the required standard.

With Chelsea and Newcastle also in the mix, United must be proactive in their pursuit to avoid missing out on Kounde.

The Red Devils should still have an edge over the duo, considering they are more likely to be able to afford the player’s wage demands during the next transfer window.

Kounde is currently on £224,000 per week and the 25-year-old may want a rise. The Magpies are unlikely to make such an outlay with their highest earner being at £160,000 per week.

Chelsea have made a constrained effort to lower their wage bill with their recent big-money signings earning under £200,000 weekly. A move for Kounde would break their wage structure.

United should be optimistic about signing the Bordeaux graduate, who is valued at £43 million by Transfermarkt. Barcelona may demand a similar fee to part ways with him.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com, Sofascore.com & Capology.com.

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