Sevilla star Jules Kounde says ‘nothing has been finalised’ but he ‘might have to move’ clubs in the summer transfer window in order to realise his lofty ambitions.
Kounde, 22, swapped Bordeaux for Sevilla in 2019 and quickly established himself as one of the finest young centre-backs in Spain, helping the club win the Europa League in what was an outstanding debut season.
The sought-after Frenchman picked up where he left off this term with a string of accomplished displays alongside Diego Carlos and the club’s impressive defensive record was key as Julen Lopetegui’s men secured Champions League qualification with a fourth-placed finish.
Kounde’s stellar performances have not gone unnoticed among Europe’s elite, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid all interested and likely to be encouraged by his comments on Friday.
The gifted defender’s profile is likely to grow further still this summer after he received his first international call-up for France’s European Championships campaign.
‘Regarding my future, it’s certain that I will perhaps have to change clubs this summer,’ Kounde told reporters at France’s Clairefontaine training camp.
‘But nothing has been finalised yet. I have not decided anything.
‘My goal is to play for a big club, to try to always progress and to win trophies.
‘It’s true that I might have to move but that’s not relevant today.’
Asked when he first realised his enormous potential, Kounde replied: ‘I would say that perhaps when I arrived at Sevilla and started playing more and more and also with the arrival of the Champions League.
‘It has always been something in my head. I have always believed in it, I have always worked for it. To have it.
‘That objective in the sights meant that I was able to have the performances I did at Sevilla.
‘Also thanks to this club that helped me a lot and my team-mates who always pushed me.’
Sevilla are reluctant to part with Kounde this summer but could be tempted to cash in on their prized possession should they receive an offer in excess of €70million (£60m).
Kounde’s centre-back partner, Carlos, was full of praise when speaking to The Daily Mail about his team-mate back in March and suggested he wouldn’t look out of place at on of Europe’s ‘big clubs’.
‘He has quality and he can play for great European clubs,’ Carlos said.
‘He is a young player who can still improve over time, he has got great qualities, he is very strong and I am sure he can play for a big club as a great defender.
‘We have good communication on and off the pitch and we have a good relationship.
‘To have a strong defence, we also need all the other players to help us and we can help them to attack so Kounde really looks to attack too and like all the other midfielders, we all help each other and we are a good team in attack and defence.’