Man Utd show ‘palpable interest’ in €80m Chelsea target

Will Ford

Manchester United are reportedly showing ‘palpable interest’ in Jules Kounde, who remains a top target for Chelsea.

Kounde was close to joining Thomas Tuchel’s side in the summer having agreed personal terms, but Sevilla pulled the plug on the deal when it became clear the Blues were unwilling to meet their valuation.

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As the La Liga club’s director of football Monchi explained, Chelsea’s bid also came too late in the window.

“The proposal for Kounde last summer [from Chelsea] was great, the most important we received in our history – but it wasn’t meeting our price tag. Also, we received the bid in an inopportune moment,” Monchi said.

According to AS (via Sport Witness), Chelsea are ‘back in the race’ for Kounde amid growing concern over stalling talks over new deals for Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Chistensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Unfortunately for Tuchel and Chelsea, the report claims they will now also face fierce competition from Manchester United.

The Red Devils are said to have ‘palpable interest’ in the versatile defender and it’s possible he could move to Old Trafford in January, with Sevilla ‘not taking it for granted’ that Kounde will remain until the summer.

In a boost for both suitors, the report adds that Sevilla are willing to accept a ‘significantly lower figure’ than the €80million release clause the were holding out for just a few months ago.

The only sticking point is thought to be Monchi’s ability to find a ‘good replacement’ for the 23-year-old.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo has explained a “beautiful thing” Sir Alex Ferguson did for him in their time together at United.

Ronaldo said: “It’s hard to mention just one [moment].

“There were so many beautiful moments that we had together. Not just winning things. But in my heart I keep the most difficult things.

“Probably he doesn’t remember, but I will say it because it’s a beautiful story. One day, my father was in hospital, and I was so emotional, very low. And I spoke with him and he said: ‘Cristiano, go there for two or three days.’

“We had difficult games [coming up] and I was a key player in that moment.

“He said: ‘It will be tough because we have difficult games, but I understand your situation and I’ll leave you [out] and you can go and see your father.’

“For me, these are the most important things – apart from winning Champions Leagues, to win the Premier League, to win cups and stuff. So I have to appreciate him, because what he said to me, he always did. I have to appreciate that.”