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Liverpool and Chelsea best placed to take advantage of Man Utd's £68m transfer decision

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Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are all looking to improve their defence in the summer with the likes of Ibrahima Konate, Sven Botman and Raphael Varane linked. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided not to splash the cash out on Sevilla star Jules Kounde, who would cost £68m.

Liverpool and Chelsea have been given the perfect opportunity to land Sevilla’s Kounde after United pulled out of the race.

The 22-year-old has been touted to become one of the best defenders in Europe after two stellar years in La Liga.

He has wowed scouts from all over the continent and a list of clubs are chasing his signature.

Included are the powerhouses of the Premier League – whose money could make all the difference in the transfer window.

But it appears United will not be one of them, with the Daily Mail reporting that they are not ready to meet Kounde’s £68m release clause.

Despite being desperate to partner Harry Maguire up with a more reliable partner, the Red Devils are prepared to look elsewhere for better value for money.

And that decision opens the door open to Liverpool and Chelsea – who have defensive issues of their own.

With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip ruled out until next season, the Reds are facing a huge problem when they return to fitness.

Will they be the same again? Can Jurgen Klopp expect the same level of performance from a backline hounded by such a serious injury, physically and mentally?

Signing a top-class centre-back will help alleviate those fears and there are not many better than Kounde at the moment.

Chelsea are slightly different, in that they know defence has been a major concern for a few years but have failed to identify the right man to fix the problem.

Thiago Silva was brought in last year on a free transfer and has been a big success despite his age and has only amplified Chelsea’s need to find a long-term answer.

Thomas Tuchel has been promised funds in the summer but the squad does not need massively tinkering, there are enough attacking options there – so concentrating the club’s financial might on Kounde would be a better solution.

Regardless, United’s decision to pass up on such a prospect could be a huge error on their behalf if one of their domestic rivals decides to take action.

There is little doubting the Sevilla star is destined for bigger and better things in an era where all the top clubs are looking for the next star in defence.



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