Manchester United have made Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde their leading defensive transfer target, according to reports.
As such, United have been forced to turn their attention elsewhere as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks for a new partner for Harry Maguire.
Neither Eric Bailly nor Victor Lindelof has convinced Solskjaer that he is a long-term option at the heart of the backline.
The Red Devils have also been linked with a move for Sergio Ramos, who is out of contract at Real Madrid on June 30.
Whereas Ramos is 34 years old and coming towards the end of his career, Kounde is just 22.
United have made a conscious attempt to lower the average age of the squad in recent years, and signing Ramos would not really fit that model.
Solskjaer’s side did welcome the 34-year-old Edinson Cavani to Old Trafford last summer, but Ramos would command much higher wages than the Uruguay international.
Kounde has caught the eye with his performances for Sevilla this season, and several clubs around Europe are keeping tabs on the Frenchman.
It was reported earlier this week that Raphael Varane and Tyrone Mings are also on United’s shortlist, but it appears that Kounde is the club’s main target.
Solskjaer’s side return to Premier League action against West Brom on Sunday, when a win will move them up to second place.
United will then begin their Europa League campaign against Real Sociedad on Thursday.
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