Five defenders that could still transfer this summer

Martin Macdonald
Who is Jules Kounde? The Sevilla star who nearly joined Man City and is wanted by Man Utd and Arsenal

The major leagues in Europe have kicked off for the 2021/22 campaign, but there is still likely to be plenty of transfer activity over the next week before the window ends on 31 August.

While most clubs on the continent are struggling financially as the pandemic continues, clubs from the Premier League and Paris Saint-Germain, in particular, continue to splash the cash.

Manchester City spent a British record fee of £100 million on Jack Grealish, Manchester United signed Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, while Romelu Lukaku returned to Chelsea from Inter.

PSG, meanwhile, have only gone and signed Lionel Messi on a free transfer from Barcelona, albeit on massive wages.

In terms of defenders, in addition to Varane; Ben White has joined Arsenal for £50 million, Achraf Hakimi has left Inter for PSG, while Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano has both left RB Leipzig for Liverpool and Bayern Munich respectively.

There are plenty of other midfielders who could move on within the next five days...

Jules Kounde

Jules Kounde joined Sevilla in the summer of 2019 from Bordeaux for a reported £21 million (€25m), so any hopeful suitors such as Chelsea will need to eclipse that if they are to have any hope of prying him away from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

The Blues are in advanced talks to sign the Frenchman, and hope to fund part of the deal by selling Kurt Zouma to West Ham.

He has a €80m release clause in his current contract, but Sevilla would allegedly be willing to accept around €60m.

Kounde's contract expires in June of 2024 so Sevilla are under no pressure to sell at the moment, but any offer that comes in anywhere close to his hefty release clause will be taken very seriously by the Andalusian side.

Kieran Trippier

Manchester United and Arsenal are both looking to sign a new right-back this summer, with Atletico Madrid defender Kieran Trippier identified as a target.

Man Utd target Trippier goes second in La Liga for assists

The England international has excelled under Diego Simeone at the Wanda Metropolitano and is also a key player for the Three Lions.

Trippier is known as being a positionally astute defender but it is his threat going forward which is his best attribute, as he possesses a lovely delivery that can come via a cross from the right wing or from set-pieces.

Atletico aren't going to be bullied into received a low offer for Trippier, though, as according to Spanish outlet AS, Los Colchoneros will only let the player go if his €60 million release clause is met.

Thilo Kehrer

After the signing of Sergio Ramos on a free transfer from Real Madrid, and Hakimi from Inter, Thilo Kehrer now finds himself a further notch down the pecking order in two positions at PSG.

Ramos, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe are ahead of him in the centre-back role, while €70m Hakimi will start more often than not at right-back.

Kehrer has not been particularly impressive in his time in Paris anyway, and has been linked with a return to Germany, with Bayern and Leverkusen both said to be interested.

Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte was previously the main man at the back for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola.

But, after the acquisition of Ruben Dias last summer and John Stones' superb return to form over the last 12 months, Laporte suddenly finds himself as a rotation option.

France boss Deschamps accuses Laporte of lying about new Spain allegiance

Unlikely transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona have been mentioned, but there is a very real possibility he could be included in any deal to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the Etihad, as is being reported currently.

Laporte remains a superb defender and is unlikely to accept not being first choice at whatever club he is at.

Nat Phillips

Liverpool put up a limp defence of their Premier League title last season and only just managed to qualify for the Champions League on the final day, but this can be almost fully attributed to their personnel issues at the back.

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip missed most of the campaign which led to Fabinho and Jordan Henderson stepping in at the back on occasion, while youngsters Nat Phillips, Rhys Williams and eventually Ozan Kabak were given game time.

Of the inexperienced defenders, Phillips probably impressed the most, but after the arrival of Konate and the rest returning from injury he will see nowhere near the same amount of game time he enjoyed last campaign.

Burnley, Brighton, West Ham and Newcastle have been linked, and could get him for around £15m