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Tottenham at ‘front of the queue’ for Jules Kounde as Newcastle, PSG and Barca watch on | Football | Sport

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Tottenham are leading the race to land Sevilla defender Jules Kounde after Chelsea dropped their interest in a move for the Frenchman, in keeping with reports. Kounde can also be being tracked by the likes of Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona but had been heavily linked with Chelsea after the Blues did not snap him up despite months of negotiations last summer.

Chelsea were widely expected to try again for Kounde prematurely of next season but have since agreed to sign Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, with the latter’s arrival set to be confirmed over the approaching days. It seems as if Tottenham have since emerged because the favourites to land Kounde with a purpose to strengthen Antonio Conte’s defensive ranks next season, in keeping with The Mirror.

The Italian coach is believed to be keen on signing at the very least one latest centre-back within the near future and has reportedly identified Kounde because the man for the job. Sevilla will ultimately be forced to let go of their player if a bid matches his release clause, which is believed to be within the region of £76million.

Tottenham are prone to face stiff competition within the race for Kounde, though, with PSG also reportedly seeking to splash their money on his signature. Nevertheless, it stays to be seen whether the pull of working under Conte’s guidance and the promise of Premier League football shall be enough for Spurs to pip their French counterparts within the battle to wrestle Kounde away from Sevilla this summer.

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Kounde, who can also be said to be a goal for Newcastle and Barcelona, registered a complete of 44 appearances for Sevilla over the course of last season. He has gained loads of admirers resulting from his impressive versatility, quick turn of pace and cultured range of passing in recent times and is widely thought to be one in all Europe’s most talented young defenders.

Nevertheless, it has already been suggested that Kounde could struggle to adapt to the trials and tribulations of the English game by ex-Liverpool winger Steve McManaman.

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“Kounde is a French international and he’s young, he’ll attract attention,” said McManaman when quizzed on the Sevilla defender’s qualities last 12 months.

“The best way defenders in Spain play all the time means they do. But although he’s only 23 years old, he has been around and has been highly considered for the past couple of years. Nevertheless, no one’s plumped for him yet, and there’s a reason.

“It’s either because he’s too expensive or he’s just not top level yet. I still think he has to enhance if he’s going to be in the highest echelons of the Premier League, where you will see the perfect teams.”

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