Who is reported United target Kouadio Kone?

Manchester United are reported to be monitoring French midfield talent Kouadio Kone.

French outlet Footmercato claims United are ‘very interested’ in signing Kone, with AC Milan and Borussia Moenchengladbach also keen. TMW also claims interest from Leeds.

So who is Kone and would he be a good signing for United? Here is a look at what you need to know…

1) Kone plays for Toulouse as a central midfielder. He has made 17 starts this season, scoring once. Last season he made 13 Ligue 1 appearances before his side were relegated with the season cut short. Playing regularly in Ligue 2 this season has helped his development with Toulouse sitting second in the division.

Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

2) Kone, now 19, made his Ligue 1 debut on the final day of the 2018/19 season. He played as an attacking midfielder in a 2-1 defeat.

3) Kone’s contract expires in June 2022. This gives Toulouse an incentive to cash in while they can, either this month or in the summer. Last January MadeInFoot reported Toulouse rejected an offer from Monaco for his signature.

4) TMW liken his style to Paul Pogba. He is described as a good dribbler with precise shooting ability, and is regarded as one of the best box-to-box midfield talents in his age range.

5) Kone is eligible to play international football for both France and Ivory Coast. He is leaning towards Les Bleus, previously representing them at under-18s level.

What they say…

Kone’s agent Johan Chrétien talked to Footmercato earlier this season to talk up his client.

The midfielder’s middle name is Manu and this is how he is referred to by his agent and club boss.

He said: “Manu is part of the French top 5 (born in) 2001, and number 1 in his post. Like all the talents of his generation, it is natural that Manu is followed by the best European clubs. Manu is destined to play in the best European leagues/ Today, he is in his training club and is giving everything to progress.”

Toulouse manager Patrice Garande added: “At the moment, Manu Koné is good. He earns his place. Do not worry, if he was not good, I would not make him play.”

A good value signing?

The offer Toulouse rejected last year from Monaco was around £8 million with a loan back.

Now in Ligue 2 and with Kone’s contract a year closer to expiry, they are unable to command much more despite an impressive year of progress which has seen the midfielder rack up a total of 34 career appearances to date.

Photo by GERARD JULIEN/AFP via Getty Images

TMW report Toulouse are looking at around £13.5 million (15 Euros) amid interest from clubs in England, Italy and Germany. Moenchengladbach are claimed to be leading the chase.

The report notes his role is not yet defined. Regarded as a midfielder with a bit of everything, it is unclear if he will remain as a box-to-box midfielder or develop into a more attacking or defensive player.

United could buy Moises Caicedo for cheaper and probably get a more well rounded player who is already featuring at international level and impacting games for his country.

Kone is one for the future who could be a shrewd addition at just £13.5 million, but it might take one or two years for him to be ready to impact games at United’s level.

If he does head to Germany with Moenchengladbach, as suggested by Fabrizio Romano, United still will likely keep track of him with a view to a future move if he continues to impress.

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