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Brighton, Southampton vie for ‘gifted’ Juventus defender at bargain price

Reports in Belgium claim Premier League duo Brighton and Southampton are monitoring Juventus youngster Koni De Winter with a view to a summer swoop.

The 17-year-old caught the eye of the Old Lady while playing for the Zulte Waregem youth teams. And the Italians swooped in 2018, giving the youngster game time in their Under-17 side. It did not take too long before he was promoted to the Under-19s and his rapid progression continued.

He made it onto the bench for Juve’s Champions League clash with Barcelona on October 28 last year. The talented scarlet did not see any action and the Turin outfit lost but it was valuable experience.

The south-coast duo took note but they may have competition for his signature, according to Belgian outlet Het Belang van Limburg (via Sport Witness). Jupiler Pro League champions Club Brugge have also been credited with an interest.

Blauw-Zwart have been tracking the Belgium Under-19 ace for some time. They may lose Odilon Kossounou during the off-season and are actively looking for a replacement.

Arsenal have been linked with the 20-year-old Ivory Coast stopper. It is not known if the Gunners still hold an interest but Brugge feel he may be on his way.

Much will depend on whether De Winter feels he is ready for the cut and thrust of the Premier League. A move back to his homeland would potentially see him garner more playing time than in England’s top division.

But the lure of the Premier League is strong and he has a few strings to his bow making him an attractive proposition.

De Winter a bargain summer signing

The report states that the young defender is ‘technically skilled’. It goes on to mention that he can also play in midfield and would not cost too much to acquire.

De Winter is under contract with Juve until the summer of 2024 but may be available for just €5m. The outlet suggests a ‘transfer is negotiable’ but feels his move to Brugge is dependent on Kossounou’s exit.

That is ‘not the case’ with either the Seagulls or Saints if they do decide to make a move. Graham Potter is looking for new players to bolster his ranks after the Amex outfit finished 16th in 2020-2021.

They ended up 13 points above the relegation zone, with Southampton one place and two points better off. It was a tough season for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, who went into freefall after the turn of the year.

But the St Mary’s faithful will see their heroes in the top flight next term as they kept their heads above water.

READ MORE: West Brom complete season-long loan signing of centre-back



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