Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is said to be very eager to sign Seville defender Jules Kounde this summer. The Blaugrana could face stiff competition from Chelsea for the Frenchman’s signature, as the Premier League giants have long been interested in Kounde.
Based on Sport, Barcelona are interested in signing a replacement for veteran defender Gerard Pique. At the age of 35, the Spaniard is at the twilight stage of his career. Pique is a legend of the Barcelona club, but has been unable to maintain consistency in recent years. Xavi sees Kounde as an ideal replacement for his former teammate.
Kounde joined Sevilla from Bordeaux in the summer of 2019 in a deal worth 25 million euros. The 23-year-old immediately became a regular in the first team. He helped Sevilla win the Europa League in the 2019-20 season.
The defender has grown from strength to strength during his second season with the Spanish club. Kounde made 49 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring four goals. His impressive performances earned him a spot in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for Euro 2020.
The Frenchman was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea last summer, but the move did not materialize. The Blues are said to not want to compare with Sevilla’s €80 million valuation of the defender. It is widely reported that Chelsea are likely to continue pursuing Kounde this summer, but will face competition from Barcelona.
The Blaugrana strengthened their attack in the January transfer window. They have signed Ferran Torres from Manchester City in a €55m deal, Adama Traore on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer.
Xavi is keen to strengthen his team’s defence, and is said to be a huge fan of Kounde.
Barcelona could pursue alternatives if they fail to sign Jules Kounde
Barcelona may find it difficult to compete with Chelsea for the services of Jules Kounde, given their precarious financial situation. The Blaugrana is facing up to 1.35 billion euros in debt and could struggle to meet Sevilla’s 80 million euros bid for Kounde.
In that case, they could turn their focus to Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta. Based on SunBarcelona are set to offer the Spaniard a three-year contract this summer. Azpilicueta’s current contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the season.
Also readThe article continues below
Azpilicueta made more than 450 appearances for Chelsea during his nine-and-a-half years with the club. The 32-year-old has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, an EFL Cup, a Champions League and two Europa League titles. His experience, versatility and leadership make him the ideal replacement for Pique at Barcelona.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/rumour-barcelona-manager-xavi-wants-bring-long-term-chelsea-target-camp-nou-summer-reports?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda Barcelona manager Xavi wants to take Chelsea’s long-term target to Camp Nou this summer