REAL MADRID

Real Madrid closely monitoring Sevilla's Jules Koundé - ESPN

The Spanish club are following the progress of the Sevilla defender, who has formed one of the best central defensive partnerships in LaLiga with Diego Carlos.

Real Madrid are closely following Jules Koundé, ESPN report. The 21-year-old defender enjoyed a great season with Sevilla under ex-Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui. Zinedine Zidane was interested in the French player last season - even though Varane and Ramos are his first choice centre-backs. Zizou is keen to keep his options open ahead of next season.

While Eder Militao was signed from Porto last summer, Madrid are still looking for a centre-back. Jesus Vallejo will leave the club this summer and it is still unclear what will happen to Nacho, who hardly featured under Zidane last season. So it is understandable that the club is interested in Koundé.

Koundé and Diego Carlos have impressed

The French player has formed one of the best central defensive partnerships in LaLiga with Diego Carlos, who has also surprised with his displays over the course of last season. Zidane has been impressed with Koundé's tactical mind and intelligence as well as his positioning and speed - a quality which Real Madrid look for in a central defender. Madrid hold both players in high regard although Zidane prefers Koundé as he is young and can only improve.

Madrid know that they aren't alone in their interest in Koundé - he is being tracked by a number of top European clubs. Madrid are not planning making any big signings this summer and bringing the France Under-21 international to the capital would cost 35 million euros - a figure which could soon rise, and Koundé is under contract until June 2024.