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Man Utd set to battle it out with Tottenham to land Bayer Leverkusen star Odion Kossounou

Manchester United look set to compete with Tottenham Hotspur to land Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Odion Kossounou at the end of the season, according to SportBild (page 22).

The Red Devils are likely to pursue a marquee centre-back during the summer with the uncertainty over Raphael Varane’s future.

The hierarchy have decided against triggering an extension clause in his contract expiring on June 30 and he could leave on a free transfer.

United have been constantly linked with Juventus’ Gleison Bremer by the Italian media in recent weeks and SportBild now claim that they are keeping tabs on Kossounou alongside Spurs.

The Ivory Coast international arrived as an ‘average player’ from Club Brugge in 2021, but he has now developed into a ‘top defender’ under the guidance of manager Xabi Alonso.

His progress has impressed United and Spurs, who are watching him closely. Leverkusen are unlikely to let him go on the cheap and are set to demand a fee of at least €50 million.

United could sign more than one centre-back this summer

The Red Devils have had plenty of problems defensively this term. They have struggled to find a settled centre-back partnership due to several untimely injury concerns.

Varane could be on his way out, but he may not be the only one leaving. Jonny Evans’ contract also expires on June 30. Victor Lindelof will enter the final year of his deal in July.

Elsewhere, Harry Maguire’s contract expires in June 2025, but there is an option for 12 months.

Hence, the club could invest on more than one central defender. Kossounou could be an option with his good passing skills as well as the ability to win duels and make ball recoveries.

The AFCON winner has also caught the eye with his tackling and ability to clear his lines. €50m seems a fair value for a player just entering his prime, but manager Erik ten Hag could have the final say.

Ten Hag may want a right-footed and left-footed central defender this summer. In that case, the club may only purchase one of Kossounou or Bremer, considering both are right-footed.

With Lisandro Martinez’s injury record, the manager may want a solid deputy behind him. In our view, the Red Devils should make an approach to sign Jarrad Branthwaite from Everton.

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