Report: Manchester City came 'close' to £51.5m deal last summer, Arsenal being linked this time around

The Athletic have claimed in their Radar report that Manchester City came ‘close’ to completing a deal for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde last summer. Kounde is being strongly linked with a move to the Premier League and Arsenal – but he could have easily joined Manchester City’s side 12 months ago.

Kounde, now 22, had only been at Sevilla for one season after joining Julian Lopetegui’s side from Bordeaux in 2019. He impressed in his first season, and attracted interest from Manchester City. The report claims that City were within an inch of completing a £51.5million deal.

The move would have seen City pay £47.25million up front, and then £4.25 million in add-ons. He has since remained at Sevilla and impressed even more, scoring four goals during 2020-21. The Athletic have recently claimed in a separate report that Arsenal are also interested in signing Kounde.

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Kounde would be a stunning signing for Arsenal – but is he good enough for City?

Manchester City have some brilliant options at centre-back. John Stones has revitalised his career, Ruben Dias has won the Player of the Season award, and Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake are back-up options. Do City need another centre-back? Right now, no.

Highest Assisting XI In EVERY Position This Season (2020-21)

But Barcelona are keen on Laporte and Ake could be a part of a deal to sign Harry Kane. So, City might go back in. In regards to Arsenal – he would be a stunning signing, but surely Arsenal’s failure to qualify for Europe means he will avoid a move to North London.

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