Barcelona have started negotiations with Sevilla for Jules Kounde
Spanish outlet COPE has provided a fresh update on Barcelona’s pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde this summer. According to the reporter, Barcelona and Sevilla have now entered official negotiations over the transfer of the 23-year-old French international.
Kounde has emerged as one of Barça’s topmost priorities for the summer transfer window along with Bayern Munich superstar striker Robert Lewandowski.
The French ace has been one of the best defenders on display in La Liga over the past couple of seasons and has played a key role in the progress that Sevilla have achieved under Julen Lopetegui.
Kounde, who was part of the France squad that won the UEFA Nations League last year, has attracted serious interest from Chelsea, who are intent on landing the defender to replace Antonio Rudiger.
At the same time, the Blaugrana have also made the former Bordeaux ace one of their premier targets for the summer. Manager Xavi Hernandez has decided not to count on Gerard Pique from the upcoming season and sees Kounde as the man to replace the veteran icon.
Informal discussions between the two clubs were believed to have been underway. And, it now seems like things are picking up pace as Barcelona and Sevilla have now begun official talks over a potential transfer for the centre-half.
Recent reports indicated that Barçelona were getting closer and closer to meeting the Andalusian giants’ demands for Kounde. However, any move would first require the Catalans to activate one of the ‘economic levers’ and generate some cash inflow.
Whether the official talks lead to anything substantial in the coming days remains to be seen. For now, though, Barcelona are pressing ahead with their interest in the 23-year-old Kounde. Barcelona are however Kounde’s top team interest. Kounde had earlier dismissed talks with Chelsea which led to a breakdown.
Ronald Araujo needs a long-term partner. Araujo has renewed his contract until 2026. Release clause around £1bn. Barcelona boss Xavi Hernandez has made it clear to Barcelona that he has not included Pi Que in his plans for the new season.
Jules Kounde is around €80m (£60m). Sevilla are however willing to accept £65m for him. Which means that anyclub that wants to buy Kounde will have to pay £65m.