LALIGA clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid have joined the race for highly-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, according to reports.
The 22-year-old has also been linked with Premier League sides Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in recent months.
According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have been monitoring Kounde for two years and now want to sign him.
But the Catalan giants are said to be struggling to afford the player's rumoured €75million release clause – around £64.5m.
It is believed Sergio Aguero's new club may offer some players as part of a swap deal to help fund a move.
Kounde's international colleague Samuel Umtiti is rumoured to be one of those stars Barca manager Ronald Koeman is happy to let go.
Real Madrid are also thought to be keeping a close eye on the Sevilla defender as they may need to replace Raphael Varane this summer.
The four-time Champions League winner is entering the final year of his contract at the Bernabeu, with both United and Chelsea rumoured to be interested.
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Reports also suggest Sevilla are expecting Kounde's alleged release clause to be activated this summer by a top European side – and may even sell him for as little as £56m.
United, Arsenal and Chelsea have all been linked with the France international – and cannot be ruled out of this transfer saga.
Speaking to the press ahead of Euro 2020, Kounde said:"I'm at a great club right now, but obviously I would like to evolve into a bigger team.
"We will see what the future holds, but it is something that is in my head."
Kounde has enjoyed a stellar two years at Sevilla, helping them win the Europa League in 2019-20 and to qualify for the Champions League this term.
He's made 63 LaLiga appearances since his reported €25m move from Ligue 1 side Bordeaux in 2019 and earned a place in France's highly-competitive Euro 2020 squad.
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