Tottenham have reportedly become the latest club to target a move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
The Frenchman, who is said to earn roughly £73,000-a-week in Spain, is one of the most sought-after centre-backs in Europe following an impressive season for Julen Lopetegui’s side.
And managerless Spurs have made the 22-year-old one of their main targets this summer, along with Lyon centre-back Joachim Andersen, according to The Guardian.
Tottenham have reportedly become the latest club to target a move for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde
The report claims that Kounde currently has a £69million (€80m) release clause in his contract with Sevilla but is expected to be sold for much less than that in the coming months.
Real Madrid, Arsenal and Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the defender – who has just helped Didier Deschamps’ squad reach the knockout stages of Euro 2020.
Kounde set Europe’s elite on red alert last month when he revealed that his future may lie away from the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
‘I may have to change clubs this summer. I have not decided anything,’ Kounde said last month.
The 22-year-old was called up to Didier Deschamps’ France squad for this summer’s Euros
He has helped France finish as winners in the ‘Group of Death’ and are now in the knockouts
‘My goal is, one day, to evolve into a great club to always try to progress, win trophies. To be able to start the season each year by telling yourself that the goal is win a particular trophy. I might have to move, but that’s not relevant today.’
Kounde’s stock has risen this season having made 49 appearances for a side that finished in the Champions League places and just two points behind Barcelona.
Only Atletico Madrid and city rivals Real conceded fewer league goals than Sevilla in 2020-21 as the France international formed a solid partnership with Brazilian Diego Carlos.
And when asked if he had noticed exactly when he was becoming a major prospect, Kounde added: ‘I would say that perhaps when I arrived at Sevilla and started playing more and more, also with the arrival of the Champions League.
‘It has always been something in my head. I have always believed in it, I have always worked for it. To have it.
Another target for Spurs would be Joachim Andersen, who spent last season on loan at Fulham
‘That objective in the sights meant that I was able to have the performances I did at Sevilla. Also thanks to this club that helped me a lot and my team-mates who always pushed me.’
Another target for Spurs would be Andersen, who spent the last season on loan at Fulham. The 24-year-old was a standout performer for the Cottagers despite their relegation but is now being sounded out for a return to the English capital.
The central defender is expected to leave Lyon this summer and wants a return to the English top flight to be his next destination with Spurs linked with a £20million move, the Evening Standard reported last month.
And while moves are being made in the market for Spurs, it looks as if their hunt for a new manager could be coming to a close.
As revealed exclusively by Sportsmail on Thursday, Nuno Espirito Santo is the leading candidate to become the club’s new manager.
The Portuguese coach’s credentials now have the backing of chairman Daniel Levy and new Football Managing Director Fabio Paratici, while the Guardian have also reported that talks have since progressed further on Friday.
Talks between Spurs and Nuno Espirito Santo have also progressed in the last 24 hours
Tottenham have also been giving serious thought to the merits of Brighton boss Graham Potter this week, while the Evening Standard are reporting that Steven Gerrard remains on a ‘standby list’, but it is Nuno’s name that is currently being discussed most prominently.
Having left Wolves – who he took in to the Premier League from the Championship – at the end of last season, Nuno was expected to rejoin his family back in Portugal.
But he is understood to be attracted to the prospect of managing one of England’s most prestigious clubs.
Tottenham Director of Technical Performance Steve Hitchen has long been pushing for an English candidate to carry out the reboot needed after the disappointing reign of Jose Mourinho.
But Nuno – having worked in England for four years – is very much seen as the next best thing.
The Portuguese coach’s credentials now have the backing of chairman Daniel Levy (right) and new Football Managing Director Fabio Paratici (left)
MANAGERIAL TARGETS TOTTENHAM HAVE FAILED TO LAND (SO FAR!)
Erik Ten Hag
There has been some concern expressed at the club about the way Wolves fell away last season, finishing 13th in the Premier League.
But those at Spurs pushing the 47-year-old’s cause have pointed out that Wolves never really recovered from the sale of Diogo Jota to Liverpool and the loss to head injury of Raul Jimenez.
At Tottenham the need to make an appointment is great. Having initially pursued Brendan Rodgers and Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag, Spurs flirted with former manager Mauricio Pochettino and then had talks with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and even one-time AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso.