Man City eye Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as Koulibaly transfer alternative with Otamendi to be used as makeweight

Man City eye Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as Koulibaly transfer alternative with Otamendi to be used as makeweight

MANCHESTER City are eyeing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as an alternative to Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Napoli centre-back has proved difficult to lure away and now Etihad chiefs have turned their attention to Spain.

Any deal for Kounde could see Nicolas Otamendi move in the opposite direction.

The Telegraph reports that Kounde, 21, has been earmarked by Real Madrid and Barcelona as a future transfer but Pep Guardiola may swoop this window to help reinforce City's defence.

The France Under-21 international was a major part of Sevilla's Europa League win over Inter last month and his reputation continues to rise.

But his 68 million euros release clause may prove a potential sticking point.

Otamendi, who has spent over five years at the club, is reportedly being considered as a makeweight to help secure any potential deal.

The Spanish club have expressed an interest in the 32-year-old and City are willing to let him go.

The two-time Premier League winner has only a couple years left on his current contract and could help slash a fee to capture Kounde.

The Manchester club have already signed a defender this window in the form of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for big money.

But Guardiola is believed to want to add more with City's defensive flaws one of the reasons their title defence was so feeble last season.

They are still rebuilding after the departure of Vincent Kompany last summer.

The Belgian defender left the club after helping them to squeeze past Liverpool in the intense 2018/19 title race.

Koulibaly has long been seen as a potential replacement but the player continues to be in limbo as the two clubs clash in negotiations.

City and Napoli have bad blood between them after Jorginho, who looked set to come to the Etihad, instead joined his old manager Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea.

The Premier League runners-up have also considered Uruguay centre-back Jose Gimenez but Atletico Madrid's asking price of £81million plus add-ons makes a move difficult.

City's executives always try to stick to their policy of not paying over marketvalue, and have never broken the £70million mark – even for stars like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

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