Barcelona reach £46 million agreement with Sevilla for Jules Kounde

Chelsea are beaten to Jules Kounde by ambitious Barcelona as LaLiga side agree deal worth over £46m for Sevilla star… with Blues ‘blocking sale of Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso’ as war between the two clubs goes on

  • Barcelona have agreed a deal for highly-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde
  • The 23-year-old French star had long been the subject of interest from Chelsea
  • The Blues believed they had secured Kounde before Barca gazumped them
  • Chelsea have reacted angrily by blocking the sale of two players to Barcelona

Barcelona believe they have beaten Chelsea to the signing of highly-rated Sevilla defender Jules Kounde after agreeing a deal worth £46 million plus add-ons.

The Spanish club looks to have got their man, dealing a huge blow to Chelsea and manager Thomas Tuchel.

Kounde had been one of Tuchel’s top defensive targets, but the player now appears bound for Barcelona, ​​triggering fury among club officials at Stamford Bridge.

Barcelona look to have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Sevilla star Jules Kounde

Barcelona look to have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Sevilla star Jules Kounde

Kounde is set to become the latest player to join Xavi’s Barcelona, ​​despite their financial issues

Chelsea have moved to block Marcos Alonso’s transfer to the Catalan giants in response to Barca snatching the 23-year-old star.

According to reports, the Blues are also reluctant to allow fellow defender Cesar Azpilicueta to complete his move to the Nou Camp in what is becoming an increasingly fractious and complicated set of negotiations.

It comes after Barcelona swooped for Kounde even after Chelsea had seen their offer accepted.

Andreas Christensen has already made the switch from Chelsea to Barcelona this summer, but there is now doubt over whether fellow defenders Alonso and Azpilicueta will follow.

Chelsea believed they had secured the France international after Sevilla agreed to their £55m offer, but Barcelona gazumped them at the eleventh hour.

Barcelona swooping for Kounde is likely to further anger Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel

Barca had pulled off a similar move to hijack Chelsea’s move to sign Raphinha from Leeds United earlier in the summer.

Chelsea came close to signing Kounde, 23, last summer and earlier in this window there was a strong belief in Spain that the Frenchman moving to Stamford Bridge was inevitable once the Todd Boehly takeover was completed.

The player has always preferred to join Barcelona and the club even briefly had his shirt name available for purchase on their online store. It was quickly deleted.

Kounde is believed to have preferred a move to Barcelona over joining Tuchel at Chelsea

Kounde is believed to have preferred a move to Barcelona over joining Tuchel at Chelsea

Tuchel had already strongly suggested that Barcelona’s move for Azpilicueta may be blocked.

Asked at a press conference in Orlando ahead of their 4-0 defeat by Arsenal whether he was annoyed by Barcelona’s approach, Tuchel replied: ‘Maybe a little bit.’

Chelsea have signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in a deal worth £34 million but had long been pursuing Kounde as Tuchel looks to reinforce his backline after losing Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, who has joined Real Madrid.

The Blues are also weighing up a move for Leicester’s Wesley Fofana after missing out on Kounde.

Chelsea are plotting a move for Leicester's Wesley Fofana after missing out on Jules Kounde

Chelsea are plotting a move for Leicester’s Wesley Fofana after missing out on Jules Kounde

Bayern Munich thwarted their attempts to buy Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus and they were frustrated in their bid to land Manchester City’s Nathan Ake.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe and Inter’s Milan Skriniar are among the other center backs on Chelsea’s radar. RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol is another, but the Germans are determined to keep him.

Barca adding to their raft of signings in the summer window will raise further eyebrows given their well-documented financial situation.

The move for Kounde is being bankrolled – just like the acquisition of Christensen, Franck Kessie, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Dembele – by the club’s bold but risky decision to mortgage its future with investment funds.

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