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Manchester City close to signing Jules Koundé from Sevilla

Guardiola has chosen the French centre-back to strengthen City's defence. Negotiations with Sevilla and the player could be completed in the next few days.

Kounde
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Manchester City are close to signing a central defender which was Txiki Beguiristain's priority during the current transfer window. After studying a number of players who are on the market, City have opted for Sevilla's Jules Koundé.

Talks have been ongoing between City and Sevilla since last week. Koundé is in favour of a move to the Etihad as long as both clubs reach an agreement. The operation is expected be tied up for a fee of around 50 million euros and what is being negotiated now is how much the fixed payment will be and how much will be added on in terms of performance-based bonuses.

Koundé's superb season  

Koundé, who was one of the revelations at Sevilla last season, has a buy-out clause of 80 million euros - a figure which City are not prepared to pay in a depressed market. City drew up a shortlist of central defenders, potential signings which included Atlético Madrid's José María Giménez, Napoli's Kaulidou Koulibaly and Jules Koundé. The club was also in talks Napoli and Atlético.

Negotiations with Atlético Madrid to sign Giménez lasted several weeks but City's offer was much lower than the Spanish club's expectations, bearing in mind that the player's buy-out is 105 million euros. According to sources at Atlético, City offered 89 million euros for Giménez, a figure which the English club has since denied;  off the record, they say their top bid for the Uruguayan centre-back was closer to 60 million euros.

With Giménez ruled out after failing to find any middle ground with Atlético, City turned their attentions to 21-year-old Koundé and following several intense negotiations between Monchi, and Beguiristain, a deal was reached. If the operation goes through, Julen Lopetegui will be without one of the surprise stars of last season.