Excl: Barcelona announced the signing of €50m Chelsea target Jules Kounde, after an agreement reached in principle with Sevilla.
According to reports, Jules Kounde has arrived in Barcelona and is getting ready to sign a long-term contract at Camp Nou after passing his physical with Xavi’s team.
During the 2021–22 season, the Frenchman was once again in excellent form for Julen Lopetegui’s team, making 44 appearances across all competitions and providing three goals and one assist.
Last week, Chelsea was thought to be close to signing the defender, but at the last minute, Barcelona accelerated talks with the 23-year-old.
The player, who turned down interest from Chelsea after speaking with Barcelona manager Xavi, is said to have signed personal terms with the Catalan team and a transfer price with Sevilla.
Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that Kounde has arrived in Barcelona and will soon begin his club-required medical checks.
According to Romano, the defender will subsequently agree to a long-term contract at Camp Nou and join Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, and Robert Lewandowski as the team’s fifth summer additions.
Barcelona will reportedly pay around €50 million (£41.9 million) plus add-ons for the Frenchman, and it is believed that Manchester City’s late bid for his talents fell short.
Jose Maria Cruz, the manager of Sevilla, acknowledged last month that Kounde wanted to leave the team this summer.
“Once more, I’m positive the player respects Sevilla FC. He approves of us. Kounde’s situation is unrelated to finances. He told Sport Witness that he wanted to play for a squad that was more competitive than Sevilla FC.
He is undoubtedly a player that Chelsea, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and other teams of this caliber find appealing. He desires a more competitive squad to play for.
“It’s the same situation as when [Clement] Lenglet was involved a few years ago. Although he was really satisfied, he believed that after playing for Sevilla FC for a while, he was ready to move on to FC Barcelona.”
Kounde, who transferred from Bordeaux to Estadio Ramon in July 2019, will depart Sevilla having made 133 appearances for the team across all competitions, contributing nine goals and three assists.
With the addition of Christensen, Barcelona has already improved their center-back options for the upcoming campaign. Eric Garcia, Ronald Araujo, and Gerard Pique are also present in a crowded area of the field.
However, Samuel Umtiti and Oscar Mingueza are anticipated to leave the team before the transfer window closes, thus there will be defensive departures from the team.
Due to their financial condition, Barcelona must make a significant sell this summer in order to pay for their new additions, although Frenkie de Jong appears to still be opposing a transfer to Manchester United.