Arsenal will reportedly struggle to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde this summer, with the Gunners said to be interested in the centre-back.
According to the Athletic, the north London side are eager to sign a right-footed centre-back to replace the outgoing David Luiz. Kounde has been a player who has been linked with Arsenal in the past, though it is unlikely the Gunners have a chance to sign the French defender.
As per the report, Sevilla have valued Kounde at around £50m, with the 22-year-old centre-back also eager to compete in the UEFA Champions League. Arsenal will play no European football next season for the first time in 26 years after finishing eighth in the Premier League.
Kounde has been a key reason this season as to why Sevilla not only qualified for the Champions League but also had an outside shot of winning the La Liga title. Marca recently compared the former Bordeaux defender to Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos.
The loss of Luiz this summer will be felt by Arsenal next season, with the Brazilian international making a good case for himself as being the club’s best centre-back in the two years he spent in north London.
And it will be Luiz’s qualities on the ball that Mikel Arteta will miss the most.
The former Chelsea man’s ability to ping long balls into the opposing half with distance and accuracy is a large part why the 34-year-old defender will be difficult to replace. Yet Kounde could be a stretch too far for Arsenal.
The Sevilla star is one of the club’s most prized players, with the French youngster flourishing for the La Liga side since his 2019 transfer to Spain.
Kounde is one of the top defensive prospects in European football, and although Arsenal remains a big club and an attractive proposition, the Gunners, at this stage, would only be a step down for the 22-year-old.
As per the Athletic report, Kounde is eager to play in the Champions League, and with Arsenal not playing in Europe at all, the French youngster will likely view a move to north London as a poor career decision, with Sevilla going from strength-to-strength since his arrival.