Tottenham Hotspur are set to rival Real Madrid for talented defender Jules Kounde, with Raphael Varane’s exit from the club now seemingly ‘inevitable.
Kounde has emerged as one of the most sought after defenders in world football, having impressed since his arrival at Sevilla two years ago, notably catching the eye in the club’s Europa League semi-final win over Manchester United during the 2019/20 campaign.
The 22-year-old – who featured at right-back for France at Euro 2020 – appears set to move on from the Spanish side this summer, with a number of Europe’s elite sides said to be interested in services.
Spanish publication Sport are reporting that Tottenham are keen to rival Real Madrid for his signature, the La Liga giants hoping to secure a replacement for centre-back Raphael Varane, whose departure is said to be ‘inevitable’.
Madrid have already seen one half of their starting centre-back duo depart in the form of Sergio Ramos, the 35-year-old making the switch to Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year deal, with Varane set to follow suit as he nears the end of his existing deal.
The 28-year-old has just one year remaining on his current contract, meaning he could follow former teammate in departing for nothing next summer, or be sold before the start of the new season, with Manchester United having been heavily linked.
That likely exit has left returning Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti in need of a suitable replacement, Kounde seemingly their top defensive target.
However, as per the report, the centre-back is also interesting Spurs, who may have the greater financial strength to be able to offer in the region of €55-60m for the player, although Sevilla are likely to demand around €70m, slightly less than Kounde’s €80m release clause.
The north London club are undergoing something of a transition following a poor season under Jose Mourinho, new boss Nuno Espirito Santo particularly in need of bolstering his defensive options.
The club are said to be nearing a deal for Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu, although its unlikely that the Japanese international will be the only defensive arrival.