Man Utd have had an initial offer of €45m for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde turned down by the Spanish club, according to journalist Duncan Castles.
The Red Devils have been linked with numerous defenders, including Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hoping to find a long-term partner for Harry Maguire.
Kounde has been linked heavily with Man Utd, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid have also been credited with interest in the France international.
And now Castles claims that Man Utd have submitted their opening offer but that it has been rebuffed as it falls €20m short of Sevilla’s valuation.
Castles told The Transfer Window podcast: “Kounde has been on that list of centre-backs that they want to add to solve the Harry Maguire problem, for some time now. I can tell you that they have contacted Sevilla and held informal talks with them over the purchase of Kounde for this summer.
“And proposed that they would offer €45m as a transfer fee for the player. Sevilla are not happy with that, their sports director Monchi said ‘no, there is no way I can sell this player for €45m.’
“He told Manchester United, I understand, that he had an offer of €55m for the player last summer, therefore €45m was out of the question.
“It looks like the valuation that Monchi will sell at is €65m but there is a bit of a question over that. He has been telling certain agents that it would take €80m to get Kounde in this window.
“And there’s an interesting explanation as to why. For example, were he to be offered €60m for the player, Sevilla would have to pay 30 per cent of that transfer fee to Bordeaux, the club they signed him from two seasons ago, which would leave €42m of the €60m they receive from that.
“They would have to subtract the €25m they paid Bordeaux, which would leave them €17m as a profit. There’s an additional factor for them in that, as we’ve talked about in this podcast many times, La Liga determines the budget of Spanish clubs and what they’re allowed to spend on players.
“They vet every transfer to make sure it fits inside the club’s determined budget going into the season and in Sevilla’s case they expect that were they to have that profit of €17m on Kounde, they would be allowed by La Liga to spend less than €10m of that on a replacement.
“So then you have a very straight forward calculation that they can’t replace him in their view for €10m, even with Monchi in charge, even with his ability to dig up diamonds at low prices and sell them on at higher levels.”
He added: “For Man Utd to get Kounde they are going to have to spend more money on the transfer fee. There is competing interest from Chelsea and there is competing interest from Real Madrid.”