Liverpool are reportedly interested in signing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who is also a transfer target for Barcelona and Real Madrid.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes, Liverpool are the latest entrant in the race for the signing of Sevilla and France defender Jules Kounde, who is on the radars of several other top clubs, including Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Kounde has grown leaps and bounds since moving to Sevilla from Bordeaux in the summer of 2019. The 23-year-old helped the club win the UEFA Europa League in his first season and has been crucial to their progress in La Liga over the past couple of years. He has been an ever-present when fit and available this season, helping Los Nervionenses challenge Real Madrid for the league title.
The central defender, who can play at right-back, also won the UEFA Nations League with France last year. His progress at the club level and on the international stages has not gone unnoticed. Chelsea made several attempts to sign him last summer, but a move failed to materialise. The Blues remain interested in signing him this year, as do their rivals Manchester United.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are also keen on landing Kounde before next season and have been in talks over a move. But now Liverpool, too, have entered the picture for the signing of the former Bordeaux ace.
Liverpool have no shortage of defenders, with Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate available at Jurgen Klopp’s disposal. Youngsters Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio are also options. Nathaniel Phillips is away on loan at Bournemouth and will be back at the club in the summer, although he is expected to secure a permanent exit.
In addition to Phillips, Gomez’s future has also been called into question, with Aston Villa and Newcastle United pushing to sign him. While Matip and van Dijk are going extremely strong this season, the former’s track record with injuries remains a concern. So, Liverpool are planning to invest in another top defender in the summer.
Kounde, to that end, could be a brilliant addition at Anfield. He can be groomed to take over from van Dijk and Matip to form a central defensive axis alongside Konate in the long run. The Frenchman can also operate at right-back, meaning he would add depth in that position, allowing Trent Alexander-Arnold to be rotated more effectively.
But Liverpool will have to compete with Barcelona, whose manager, Xavi Hernandez, is an admirer of the 23-year-old and wants to pair him up with Ronald Araujo as Gerard Pique enters the final phase of his career. Meanwhile, Real Madrid are also keen on Kounde as they lack quality depth in the centre-back area beyond Eder Militao and David Alaba.
With the race to sign Kounde heating up ahead of the summer window, it will be interesting to see who among these interested parties end up securing his services.