Real Madrid are taking the right strategy with Jules Kounde

Jules Kounde (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Jules Kounde (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid appear to be closing in on David Alaba, but the likes of Manchester City, PSG, and Chelsea may still be circling for their chance at the Bayern Munich defender. Aside from Alaba and Sergio Ramos’ ongoing negotiations, additional uncertainty is created at the center back position by Raphael Varane’s situation. There will be one year left on the French central defender’s deal after the 2020-2021 season.

Jules Kounde is at the top of the list among Real Madrid’s center back options. The Sevilla star is only 22 years old, but he is already one of the top three center backs in La Liga and comparable to both Sergio Ramos and Varane in terms of his current quality.

Because of this, he will also be expensive. Kounde’s release clause is either 80 or 90 million euros, depending on which reports you believe. La Razon states 90 million, and they report that Real Madrid will not pay his release clause (report in Spanish). They even state that while Manchester United would offer 70 million for Kounde, Los Blancos would not “remotely” offer the same. PSG would reportedly be willing to pay the release clause, though, especially if they end up selling Kylian Mbappe to Los Blancos.

It is a very interesting situation for Real Madrid. Kounde is the best option at center back, but Sevilla have no reason to accept anything less than the player’s release clause. He is wanted by elite clubs, and with the likes of City and PSG involved, someone has the pockets to make a massive deal and even meet that clause.

Real Madrid are trying to swap two players for Jules Kounde

Los Blancos have options at center back in Eder Militao, Nacho, and prospects Pablo Ramon and Victor Chust. Hardly inspiring if they lose Ramos and Varane and do not sign Alaba, but hardly awful if they do end up with two of those three star players.

La Razon reports that Real Madrid are indeed trying to use Isco and Mariano Diaz to lower the price for Kounde, but I would be shocked if Sevilla accept either player. They are publicly uninterested in Isco, who has high wages and is not better than their current attacking players. Meanwhile, Mariano would not even be the second-best striker in Seville, based on the strength of his play in the 2020-2021 campaign for Los Merengues.

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The Royal White club is taking the right approach here. They need to pursue Kounde and come up with creative ways to lower his price in a swap deal. He should be their top target at center back. But with bigger needs up top and money a key issue, Los Blancos must be financially prudent above all else.