Manchester United set to play unexpected role in Jules Kounde transfer saga

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Manchester United could be set to play an unexpected role in the future of Jules Kounde with the Sevilla man at the centre of a transfer tug-of-war between Chelsea and Barcelona. The Blues are determined to win the race for the 23-year-old after failing with a £42.5million bid last August but for the second time this window, Barca are out to spoil their fun.

The Catalan giants have already hijacked the signing of Raphinha and the noises coming out of Spain, suggest they’re also ready to move for Kounde.

Chelsea are the only side, to date, to formally bid for the player this summer after tabling a whopping £55m proposal that is expected to satisfy Sevilla’s demands.

According to Spanish journalist Toni Juanmarti, Barcelona boss Xavi is now expected to tell several members of his squad that they must leave the club.

That allegedly includes Manchester United transfer target Frenkie de Jong, who is considered to be a ‘priority sale’.

Barcelona know they will have to quickly get players out of the door to raise enough cash to gazump Chelsea’s bid for Kounde.

The Blues are now pressing to close the deal with Sevilla, who are keen to drive an auction for their highly-rated defensive stalwart.

Ultimately, the quickest way for Barcelona to raise substantial funds is to sell De Jong to United as the long-running saga threatens to rumble on.

Barcelona have been willing to negotiate what they consider to be a fair price for the Dutchman but still, the player is reluctant to move to Old Trafford.

Yet if Xavi is to tell his midfielder that he is no longer needed, De Jong is expected to oblige and pursue a reunion with former boss Erik ten Hag.

Barca’s hopes of landing Kounde could therefore rest with flogging De Jong to United, a move that has been several exhausting weeks in the making.

Xavi has already said on a number of occasions that he is planning to keep De Jong but on the flip side, the club are open to a sale given he could immediately generate significant cash.

Barcelona’s lucrative £239m Spotify sponsorship deal has undoubtedly bolstered their spending power amid their recent financial struggles but sales are now of equal importance due to Financial Fair Play.

So far, United have shown little indication of moving on to other targets when their interest in De Jong is concerned.

Over 10 days ago, United chiefs John Murtough and Richard Arnold flew to Barcelona to close a deal for Ten Hag’s top transfer target and despite agreeing on a fee, the move seems no further down the line.

If Sevilla really are prepared to wait for a bid from Barcelona for Kounde, then we could now begin to see some movement with De Jong.

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday night as Raphinha grabbed his first goal for the club.

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