Football

Barcelona beat Chelsea to signing Jules Kounde

Barcelona has beaten Chelsea to the acquisition of defender Jules Kounde after reaching an agreement with Sevilla for a cost of roughly €55 million, according to reports on Wednesday. Chelsea made numerous approaches for Kounde, 23, last summer, and rumors claimed he was close to joining the English club at the end of last week. … Continue reading Barcelona beat Chelsea to signing Jules Kounde

Barcelona has beaten Chelsea to the acquisition of defender Jules Kounde after reaching an agreement with Sevilla for a cost of roughly €55 million, according to reports on Wednesday.

Chelsea made numerous approaches for Kounde, 23, last summer, and rumors claimed he was close to joining the English club at the end of last week.

However, Barcelona increased their interest over the weekend, with sources saying that coach Xavi Hernandez’s desire on signing the center-back was crucial in completing the deal.

Barcelona has beaten Chelsea to a player for the second time this transfer window. Raphinha was also signed from Leeds United after the two clubs reached an agreement on a price.

In an interview, Barcelona president Joan Laporta also said that Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain had also tried to recruit Robert Lewandowski, who joined the Blaugrana from Bayern Munich for €45 million earlier this month.

Kounde is Barcelona’s sixth acquisition of the summer, joining Pablo Torre, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Raphinha, and others.

The France international joins Barcelona following three years at Sevilla, where he made 133 appearances and scored nine goals. He joined Sevilla from Bordeaux for roughly €25 million, and they are entitled to a part of the cash from his move to Camp Nou.

He is Barcelona’s second summer acquisition, following Christensen, who arrived on a free transfer from Chelsea. At the back, Xavi has Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, and Eric Garcia as alternatives, and both Kounde and Araujo can play right-back.

Barca’s expenditure has been fueled by the sale of 25% of their domestic broadcast rights for the next 25 years to investment group Sixth Street for roughly €530 million. The rights are valued at around €160 million per year to the Catalan club.

However, in order to return to within their LaLiga spending limit which was €144m at the end of last season, the only negative cap in the league, and to be able to register all of their new signings, as well as the new contracts signed by Sergi Roberto and Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona must sell some players.

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