Barcelona beat Chelsea to complete Jules Kounde deal — sources

Barcelona have crushed Chelsea to the signing of defender Jules Kounde after agreeing a payment of round €55 million with Sevilla, sources instructed ESPN on Wednesday.

Kounde, 23, was the topic of a number of bids from Chelsea final summer season, and experiences steered he was shut to a transfer to the English facet on the finish of final week.

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However, Barca upped their curiosity over the weekend, with sources telling ESPN that coach Xavi Hernandez’s insistence on signing the center-back has been key in getting the deal over the road.

It’s the second time in the course of the switch window that Barca have crushed Chelsea to a participant. They additionally introduced in Raphinha from Leeds United after the London membership had agreed a payment for the ahead.

Barca president Joan Laporta additionally mentioned in an interview with ESPN final week that Chelsea, together with Paris Saint-Germain, had additionally tried to signal Robert Lewandowski, who joined the Blaugrana from Bayern Munich for €45m earlier this month.

Kounde turns into Barca’s sixth signing of a busy summer season following the arrivals of Pablo Torre, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha and Lewandowski.

The France worldwide joins Barca after three years in Spain with Sevilla, throughout which era he made 133 appearances, scoring 9 targets. He joined Sevilla from Bordeaux for round €25m, and they’re due a share of the payment from his swap to Camp Nou.

He is Barca’s second centre-back signing of the summer season after Christensen joined on a free switch from Chelsea. Xavi additionally has Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia as choices on the again, whereas Kounde and Araujo can each play right-back, too.

Barca’s spending has been fueled by the sale of 25% of their home tv rights to the funding agency Sixth Street for the subsequent 25 years for round €530m. The rights are value round €160m yearly to the Catalan membership.

However, to get again inside their LaLiga spending restrict — which was -€144m on the finish of final season, the one detrimental cap within the league — and to have the opportunity to register all their new signings, in addition to the brand new contracts signed by Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele, Barca nonetheless want to transfer different gamers on.

Neto, Oscar Mingueza, Samuel Umtiti, Riqui Puig and Martin Braithwaite had been all neglected of the tour of the United States to permit them to discover new golf equipment, whereas Barca are additionally open to gives for different first-team gamers.

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