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Reports: Manchester United add Jules Kounde to centre-back shortlist for January transfer window

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Alex Turk
Modified 13 Oct 2020, 22:33 IST

Manchester United have added a new centre-back to their shortlist ahead of the January transfer window, according to reports. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to recruit a new central defender in the summer, but Manchester United failed to deliver any of his primary targets.

The Red Devils have endured a woeful start to the Premier League season, particularly as a defensive unit. Solskjaer's side have conceded 11 goals in their opening three games, with only newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion shipping more so far.

Manchester United could address the issue in January, should it not improve before then. Should they attempt to do so, a new target has reportedly been identified.

According to ESPN, Manchester United have added highly-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde to their shortlist.

The report adds that Solskjaer is not ruling out a move for a new centre-back if the problems don't go away before the January transfer window.

Kounde, 21, was heavily linked with Manchester City during the summer. However, no move materialised after Sevilla rejected a €55 million offer and Pep Guardiola acquired Benfica's Ruben Dias for the same fee instead.

It is said that Manchester United are looking to strengthen the defence in one of the next two transfer windows. However, a move for Kounde is only thought to be on the cards if at least two of the club's current centre-backs are moved on.

Jules Kounde vs. Paul Pogba
Jules Kounde vs. Paul Pogba

Manchester United still have deadwood in defence


Manchester United are in serious need of shipping fringe defenders, but it has proven to be easier said than done in recent windows.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's main centre-back options are currently club captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly. Axel Tuanzebe is expected to join them once fully fit, but has struggled with injury problems as of late.

There is also excitement surrounding 18-year-old starlet Teden Mengi who has been training with the first team under Solskjaer's watch.

It's clear that Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, and both were on the market throughout the summer. However, their big salaries have made it increasingly difficult to offload them.

Rojo is expected to leave on a free transfer at the end of the 2020/21 season, whilst Jones' future is still up in the air.

United would have room for a new central-defensive signing if the duo left the club, and Kounde could be the man to enter the fray.

Published 13 Oct 2020, 22:33 IST
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