'I spoke with Guardiola' - Kounde confirms Man City discussions

Jules Kounde Sevilla 2020-21
The Sevilla defender might have been on the move to the Etihad but a deal never materialised

Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde has confirmed that he has previously held transfer talks with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

The 22-year-old was one of the stars of the Sevilla team that won the Europa League last season, defeating Inter in the final after eliminating Manchester United.

He has continued that fine form into the present campaign and is quickly being recognised as one of the outstanding young players in his role.

With City looking for solutions in their defence, the former Bordeaux man has confirmed they sounded him out over a move.

“Yes, I spoke with Pep Guardiola. He had him on the telephone,” he confirmed to Canal Football Club. “We spoke in Spanish. Everything went well. I was interested in going there and I had guarantees that I would play. But it didn’t happen.”

Indeed, Guardiola would ultimately move for Benfica centre-back Rafael Dias before the summer transfer window shut.

Meanwhile, Kounde is targeting a role in France’s Euro 2020 squad at the end of the season.

He has previously been capped on five occasions by the nation’s Under-21 side but is untested in Didier Deschamps' senior squad.

“My objective is the European Championships,” he went on to say. “That was the case last year before the tournament had to be postponed.

“It’s something that drives me. It’s something I’m going to fight for. It’s something that is going to guide me every day.”

Kounde has had a disjointed season to date because of a coronavirus infection that laid him up for a couple of weeks, though it was notable that two of Sevilla’s three league defeats came during the period he was absent.

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His side have since got back on track and picked up a 4-2 victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday, with Kounde notching the opener with a right-footed shot – his first goal of the season.

In midweek, Sevilla’s attentions turn back to European football with a trip to Russia to face Krasnodar, a side they overcame 3-2 prior to the international break.

Victory in that encounter would likely ensure Sevilla’s progress through to the last 16 of the competition.