Barcelona will reportedly demand EUR75 million to part ways with 24-year-old French defender Jules Kounde, a target for Chelsea. According to a report by Spanish outlet SPORT, as relayed by Sport Witness, Barcelona will not let Jules Kounde leave for a cheap sum in the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants want EUR75 million to part ways with the 24-year-old defender. And the player is a target for Premier League giants Chelsea.
Jules Kounde has been one of the best performers for Barcelona since joining them from Sevilla last summer. But the Frenchman has not reprised his preferred role of a centre-back in the ongoing season. Instead, he has excelled as a makeshift right-back, with Xavi Hernandez not having a reliable option at his disposal.
The 24-year-old has been exceptional in an unfavoured role, so much so that he is in the Team of the Season in La Liga. But recent reports have claimed that the player is not content and wants to play as a centre-back next season. And such a situation has captured the attention of several high-profile clubs, including Chelsea.
Several other Premier League clubs have also shown interest in securing Kounde's services. But Chelsea might be the front-runner to land the Barcelona defender if he decides to leave the Catalan club. And the Blues' continued eagerness to sign the French international is understandable.
Jules Kounde: "To be 100% clear, I've never asked to leave Barcelona and I'm not gonna leave the club". #FCB
"I'm not going anywhere", Kounde also added to clarify recent rumours. pic.twitter.com/UQm3DWXlVy
- Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 25, 2023
Thiago Silva is in the twilight of his career and will not be at Chelsea for many more years. And with Kalidou Koulibaly on the wrong side of 30, it behoves the West London club to identify a long-term solution for the central defensive unit. So despite signing three centre-backs in the last two transfer windows, Chelsea can do with another this summer.
Kounde is thus a viable target for the Premier League heavyweights, who now know how much he will cost. Barcelona will demand EUR75 million to sell the 24-year-old if push comes to shove in the coming weeks. Recouping that sum will also go a long way in helping Barcelona balance the books.
The price tag of EUR75 million should not be a problem for a free-spending Chelsea either. But it will be interesting to see if the Blues want to negotiate a lower fee. That said, Kounde has publicly said this week that he does not want to leave Barcelona. So a summer move might not be on the cards.