Manchester United refuse to trigger £68m release clause for top target Jules Kounde

Kounde is a wanted man (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United are closely monitoring the progress of Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde but they are unwilling to match his huge £68million release clause.

Kounde is one of the hottest centre-back prospects in European football and reports have claimed he is at the top of United’s summer wish list.

The 22-year-old was targeted by Manchester City last summer, with an approach from Pep Guardiola’s side turned down by the La Liga side.

City turned their attention to signing Ruben Dias instead for £62m.

United are also reluctant to match his full asking price, according to the Daily Mail.

They are wary of spending over the odds amid the coronavirus pandemic and the club’s hierarchy won’t sanction spending such a high figure on a centre-back this summer.

Solskjaer is an admirer of the defender (Picture: Getty)

They are hopeful that asking prices will soon drop to a more realistic level, including that for Jadon Sancho, who is valued at £100m by Borussia Dortmund.

Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic has also been offered to United but he is not high on Solskjaer’s list.

Sevilla sporting director Monchi admitted after Man City’s offer for Kounde, who has scored three goals in 32 appearances this season, that the centre-back’s asking price was inflated somewhat.

‘Despite being a magnificent offer, very, very good, it did not satisfy the requests or what we thought of the player,’ he told El Desmarque.

‘Perhaps it was not what he was worth, because possibly that offer was close to what he was worth at that moment but we also have to think about what he can be worth [in the future].’

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