Manchester United are facing competition in their bid to sign Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde this summer, according to reports.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be handed a sizable transfer budget in the upcoming window as he seeks to build a squad capable of winning the Premier League title.
United were also beaten in last month’s Europa League final, going down on penalties to Villarreal.
Solskjaer is still waiting for his first piece of silverware as Red Devils boss, and the pressure could start to build on the Norwegian next term.
Central defence is an area he has identified as one that needs strengthening, and United have been linked with several players in that position in recent weeks.
As well as Kounde, the club are said to be keeping tabs on Raphael Varane and Pau Torres.
Kounde enjoyed an excellent season last time out, as Julen Lopetegui’s side secured a top-four finish.
The two Spanish giants are both in the market for a centre-back, with Varane and Sergio Ramos both in line to bid farewell to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Barcelona have already completed the signing of Eric Garcia from Manchester City but could seek further reinforcements at the back.
Sevilla will no doubt welcome interest in Kounde from more than one club, but they acknowledge they are unlikely to keep hold of the 22-year-old.
“I'm at a great club right now, but obviously I would like to progress to a bigger team,” Kounde said last week. “We will see what the future holds, but it is something that is in my head.”
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