The chase for Jules Kounde is firmly on, according to reports and it’s something that offers a wonderful distraction for Liverpool.
Jules Kounde will be in high demand this summer and that means good things for Liverpool. Not that there’s any suggestion the Reds want him.
Instead, La Razon reports that Real Madrid, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are after Kounde.
Kounde is a player who could cost £78m – a near-record fee for a defender. Not that anyone should be surprised as the Parisian looks like a world-beater.
So why aren’t Liverpool interested? Kounde is arguably the pinnacle now that Dayot Upamecano is off the market.
Well, the Reds don’t really need to sign a defender for that kind of money. They’re in a slightly different market.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be the primary centre-halves next season. Any new signing will likely be third choice. You don’t spend £78m on third choice.
Still, the Kounde race should only benefit them – if they’re quick.
Only one team can sign Kounde. The other two will have to settle for a next-best target.
And for Liverpool, that likely means two of those clubs moving towards one of their own summer targets. For instance, the Reds reportedly like Ibrahima Konate.
But United do, too, according to the Independent. He’ll almost certainly be their backup plan if they don’t get Kounde.
That may well be the case for Real and PSG. Liverpool, then, have a window to get their primary candidate signed up while Kounde is still on the market.
If United still believe they can sign Kounde, they’re unlikely to spend their money on Konate, after all. That creates a chance for Liverpool to swoop in and get him signed up.
And the same goes for any other defensive target. There are at least five elite clubs looking for centre-halves this summer, with Chelsea mentioned in the two Konate reports.
All five will consider similar players. Acting quickly while others aim higher, then, could prove vital for Liverpool’s plans.