Tottenham have Sevilla’s Jules Kounde in their crosshairs, but it won’t be easy, with Manchester United and Real Madrid on the prowl, to lure him to north London.
The unorthodox centre back is one of the summer’s most desirable commodities, making Fabio Paratici’s job of bringing him to Tottenham all the more difficult. United is said to be on the verge of securing Raphael Varane’s signature, which will help Spurs in their pursuit of Kounde.
While Verane’s purported imminent arrival at Old Trafford can be interpreted as positive news, it creates another potential issue for Spurs. Madrid, if Verane leaves the Galacticos, will be in search of an elite centre back to replace the Frenchman. Not to mention the fact that United will become significantly stronger with the arrival of Verane, who would partner stalwart Harry Maguire at the heart of their defence.
It’s no surprise then to learn of their reported interest in Kounde, which complicates matters further for Tottenham. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kounde’s head turned by the prospect of going to Madrid. Spurs will have to pay above market value to have any chance of landing Sevilla’s marked man.
That is cause for real concern, as Tottenham rarely pay above market value for any target, no matter how significant to the club’s future prosperity. Spurs are willing to bid about £45 million for the 22-year-old centre back. Unfortunately it will cost them at least £50 million, if not 10 to 20 percent more, to convince both Sevilla and Kounde to make the deal.
While landing Kounde would be an exceptional coup for Paratici and company, at the moment it looks unlikely Spurs will be able to pull it off. There are too many things going against the north London club. Kounde will naturally prefer to play for a side competing in the Champions League. It would also be entirely surprising to see Tottenham break the £50 million barrier to secure Kounde’s signature.
Only once in club history have Tottenham paid over £50 million for a transfer target. Tanguy Ndombele cost Spurs £55 million two years ago, breaking the former club transfer record of £42 million for Davinson Sanchez two years prior, in 2017.
Let’s see how this situation unfolds, but Tottenham’s faithful probably shouldn’t get too excited about the prospect of Kounde eventually landing in north London. Even though it’s an intoxicating thought.