Barcelona ‘set to HIJACK Chelsea in their pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde’ with the French defender in ‘advanced talks to join the Catalan giants this summer’ in huge blow to Thomas Tuchel’s ambitions
- Jules Kounde has been a top target for Chelsea for the best part of the last year
- Barcelona reportedly though are in advanced talks to sign the Sevilla player
- Xavi’s side could secure the French centre-back for a fee worth £51million
- Thomas Tuchel is determined to bring in defensive options this summer
The Sevilla defender has been Thomas Tuchel’s top target for the past year having seen a deal collapse for the 23-year-old last summer when the two clubs were unable to agree on a fee.
Catalunya Radio have now reported that the French international is in ‘advanced talks’ over a move to the Nou Camp this summer.
Barcelona are reportedly in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde
It would be a massive blow for Chelsea who have long viewed Kounde as a top target
It’s said that Barcelona have ‘agreed a deal in principle’ with their LaLiga rivals, which would see them pay £51million and send a player in the opposite direction.
Barcelona are trying to include American international Sergino Dest in the move – who has been linked to a host of clubs across Europe this summer.
Should Kounde make the switch to the Catalan giants, it could see him play alongside Andreas Christensen who is departing Chelsea at the end of his contract.
A move for Kounde could see Sergino Dest head in the opposite direction to join Sevilla
Xavi’s side are already on the verge of announcing a deal for Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen
Kounde was seen as the top target to replace Christensen and Antonio Rudiger who has been confirmed to be joining Real Madrid at the end of the month.
It could spell the end for Gerard Pique at Barcelona after he was said to be told he was no longer needed at the club due to his ”unprofessional conduct’.
The move would come as a massive blow to Tuchel and Chelsea who are already playing catch up after the sanctions imposed on them due to former owner Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea are looking to replace Antonio Rudiger (left) and Christensen (centre) this summer
Tuchel had wanted Kounde to line up on the right side of his back three and is also in need of a new left-sided centre-back too with RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol a contender for that position.
Sevilla were reportedly angered by Kounde who was injured on international duty with France, leading to him undergoing surgery for a groin issue.
Although the 23-year-old’s operation is deemed as minor to fix the long-standing issue, Sevilla are livid that Kounde chose to play for France in the first place while injured and risk jeopardising a deal to move away.
Kounde has recently undergone surgery following an injury away on international duty
Sportsmail revealed earlier this month that Chelsea have asked about Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar as a potential alternative.
The clubs are understood to be some distance apart on valuation for the 27-year-old but Skriniar, who has hardly missed a game since signing for Inter in 2017, appearing 215 times, may become more of a priority if Kounde is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Barcelona have also been heavily linked with Robert Lewandowski, with Dest previously touted as someone who could head to the Bundesliga giants.