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Man Utd must sign Kounde to bolster two positions, Barcelona need funds

Manchester United are eyeing a new central defender this summer after the confirmation of Raphael Varane’s departure on a free transfer.

They have been linked with Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo in recent weeks, but a deal appears unlikely following the arrival of manager Hansi Flick.

Flick has made it clear that he would prefer to keep Araujo and has urged the club to open contract talks.

The Blaugrana need a big-money sale to balance their books before June 30 and may have to part ways with another defender in the near future.

Jules Kounde could be the likely candidate. United have the chance to capitalise on the Blaugrana’s financial concerns to sign him.

Kounde would be a perfect signing for United

The France international was on United’s radar in 2022, but he chose to join the Catalan giants from Sevilla in a deal worth £43 million.

Kounde has since played in multiple roles for the Blaugrana. He is predominantly a centre-back, but more than half of his appearances have been at right-back.

The Bordeaux graduate has still impressed with his strong ball-playing skills. He completed almost 66 passes per game last season with an accuracy of 91 percent.

Kounde is not tall at 180cm, but possesses a good aerial presence. The 25-year-old won 61 percent of his aerial challenges last term under manager Xavi.

He also made 1.1 tackles, 2.2 clearances and 4.5 recoveries per outing. He is in the peak of his career and would provide United with a double solution.

The Red Devils are also preparing to part ways with Aaron Wan-Bissaka. United can sort out their void in central defence and right-back with a solitary player in Kounde.

He is currently valued at £43m by Transfermarkt, but Barcelona could demand between £50-55m for his services. Even for that price, Kounde would be value for money.

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