Barcelona drop ‘bomb’ on Chelsea as they have last-ditch £55m bid accepted for Kounde

Joe Williams
Chelsea target Jules Kounde passes the ball

Chelsea could end up losing out on a deal to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla after Barcelona have a last-ditch bid accepted, according to reports.

Fabrizio Romano claimed on Friday that the Blues had “sent paperworks” to Sevilla as they push “to get it over the line” with a £55m deal agreed, although the transfer was “still waiting for Sevilla’s final approval to avoid new attempts from Barcelona”.

Reports in Spain yesterday ‘almost ruled out’ Barcelona staging a late effort to sign Kounde this summer after the Catalan giants had ‘practically given up’.

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But Spanish journalist Gerard Moreno has brought potentially disastrous news for Chelsea on Saturday morning with claims that Barcelona have dropped a ‘bomb’ on the Blues.

He claimed on his Jijantes FC Twitch channel (via The Metro) that Barcelona have reached an agreement in principal over a potential transfer for Kounde.

Despite Sevilla doubting Barcelona could get near their £55m valuation of the centre-back, the La Liga side have pulled another financial ‘lever’ to reach an agreement.

Apparently France team-mate Ousmane Dembele has played a key role in persuading Kounde to sign for Barcelona with Moreno insisting that they have now won the race.

Chelsea are currently looking for at least one more centre-back after getting a deal for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly over the line earlier this month.

And Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is keen not to lose any more of his defence this summer after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left on free transfers.

Cesar Azpilicueta has been repeatedly linked to Barcelona, with the Spaniard keen on a move, but Tuchel wants to keep the full-back at Stamford Bridge.

“I’m not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants,” Tuchel said yesterday. “At some point, it’s also about us. We’ve made the comparison with how much we fought for Koulibaly, a national team player, similar age to Azpi, a hugely important player, and captain for Napoli.

“We have a Spanish international player, captain of Chelsea, and I see them maybe at the same level. Barcelona does not see it at the same level so I’m not sure that I want to give Azpi what he wants.

“We don’t think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and I say it to you that I understand on a personal and a career level. But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what’s best for Chelsea.”

Tuchel added: “It’s maybe now a bit tough because the other club is permanently on him. This causes distraction. But latest, on the first of September, when things come down and things are clear, I am very convinced he can play at his highest level.”