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Man Utd ‘do not forget’ Raphael Varane back-up option but face £68m transfer problem

Manchester United are continuing to monitor Jules Kounde as an alternative to Raphael Varane but are facing a problem with the former’s hefty price tag.

Varane is one of United’s top targets for the summer transfer window, with Real Madrid ready to sell him as he enters the final year of his contract.

Ole Gunnar Solskajer is searching for a quality partner for Harry Maguire at the heart of the Red Devils defence as he looks to build a squad ready to challenge for the Premier League title.

Neither Victor Lindelof nor Eric Bailly have proved they can the man to play alongside England international Maguire at centre-back.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing a transfer problem as he looks for a new defender

That has seen Solskjaer and the Red Devils dip into the transfer market to bring in reinforcements for the position.

Varane is their top target after the Frenchman developed into one of the world’s best defenders in the Spanish capital.

He has won three La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues during his time at the Bernabeu, as well as winning a World Cup for France in 2018.

But the 28-year-old is entering the final year of his contract with Madrid and talks over a new deal have seemingly failed.

Who should Manchester United sign in this summer’s transfer window? Comment below.

Club president Florentino Perez will be forced to sell Varane this summer if they want to bring in a fee matching his talents.

United are the clear frontrunners to sign him, but the move is stalling amid differing views over the right price tag for the Frenchman.

Madrid have already rejected a £50million bid from the Red Devils and are reportedly holding out for a fee closer to the region of £80m.

With the talks no closer to a resolution, United are now exploring the market for other options in the possibility that a move for Varane fails.

One name who emerged over the weekend as a possible alternative to Varane is Sevilla defender Kounde.

The Frenchman has impressed in La Liga, becoming a regular in Julen Lopetegui’s side as they finished fourth in the Spanish top-flight.

But the Red Devils are facing a similar hurdle to the one currently blocking their move for Varane with Kounde.

According to La Colina de Nervión, Sevilla sporting director Monchi is demanding a fee in the region of £68m for the 22-year-old.

Jules Kounde has emerged as an alternative target to Raphael Varane
Jules Kounde has emerged as an alternative target to Raphael Varane

But United’s decision to spend £73m to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund has limited their ability to pay substantial fees, “making it impossible” for them to sign Kounde.

Despite this development though, it is said that United “do not forget” the Sevilla star and have not ‘lost sight’ of him.

It is also stated that Solskjaer has “reactivated his interest” in Kounde after the player himself stated his wish to join a bigger club.

Kounde then would appear to still be an option in case the move for Varane is not completed, though a move for the latter would appear to be easier to make as things stand.

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