United target Kounde

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign Sevilla central defender Jules Kounde. The 22-year-old Frenchman has impressed in his 18 months with the Spanish side and is rated at around £60 million. United are looking for a partner for Harry Maguire, and The Mirror reports that Kounde is the man, though Real Madrid and Juventus are among the teams in the running.
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Paper Round’s view: Kounde is just 22, and United have had little luck with bringing along younger central defenders of late. However, they have also failed to sign senior players and make a success of that, either. Maguire might be the preferred partner for Solskjaer’s plan for now, but realistically Kounde will have to be the first of two central defenders the club bring in.
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Bayern in talks for Upamecano

Bayern Munich are in talks for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. The 22-year-old French central defender is also wanted by Manchester United, and they could still make a move for him for £55 million this transfer window. However, they are likely to be beaten to his signature when his £38 million release clause kicks in during the summer transfer window, according to The Sun.
Paper Round’s view: The arrival of Upamecano to Bayern would explain why United are now keen on Kounde instead, but RB Leipzig should be dismayed that once again the current champions are trying to derail their opponents by not only buying one of their best players, but also publicising the deal before the season has been completed.
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Junior Firpo to stay at Barcelona

Barcelona are unlikely to sell Junior Firpo, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. Ronald Koeman had wanted to sign Manchester City’s central defender Eric Garcia but it now looks likely that they will have to wait for his contract to expire in the summer before they get him. Southampton and AC Milan wanted Firpo but will now be made to wait until Koeman sanctions his exit.
Paper Round’s view: At 24, Firpo needs to be playing regularly if he is going to make the most of his talent, and Barcelona are clearly not convinced by his potential. A switch to Southampton or Milan would give him the chance to compete with less talented players and get regular minutes on the pitch, while Garcia would get the same opportunity when he leaves City.
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Rose set for Trabzonspor switch

Tottenham defender Danny Rose could soon bring the end to his career in North London, reports the Daily Mail. The 30-year-old left-back is out of the Premier League’s first team squad, and has been offered a three-and-a-half-year deal by Turkish side Trabzonspor. The defender’s current deal only runs until the end of the season, and he had considered buying himself out of his contract.
Paper Round’s view: Rose was an occasionally excellent full-back for Spurs and while he might not have been faultless in defence, his pace and attacking skills made him a valuable presence for Mauricio Pochettino and managers before him. At 30, though, those skills have faded and he is no longer suited to the top sides in England. A move to Turkey might help prolong his career.
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