Ex-Chelsea target ‘open’ to shock transfer – he ‘doesn’t feel comfortable’ after one season at club

Jason Soutar
Former Chelsea target Jules Kounde defends against Sadio Mane

Former Chelsea target Jules Kounde is open to leaving Barcelona as he does not feel ‘comfortable’ in Catalonia, according to reports in Spain.

Kounde turned down a move to Stamford Bridge to join Barcelona in the 2022 summer transfer window.

Chelsea had been tracking the French defender for quite some time but could not get a deal over the line.

The former Sevilla player has played the majority of this season as a right-back despite making his name as a central defender.

He has played there several times for France due to Didier Deschamps not having an elite player in that position available to him. No offence, Mathieu Debuchy.

Although it is not specifically said that this is the reason for Kounde being open to leaving Barcelona, it probably is a major factor.

According to Spanish journalist Toni Juanmarti, the 24-year-old has ‘given his OK’ for the Blaugrana to raise funds through his sale in the summer.

He ‘doesn’t feel comfortable’ at the Nou Camp – which might be because he is playing right-back – and has got Xavi ‘up to date’ after having a chat with him.

Juanmarti adds that Kounde has not physically submitted a transfer request, but knows his market value has risen over the course of the season.

Barcelona director Mateu Alemany has been asked about Kounde’s future at the Nou Camp. He said in response: “We’re going to resolve internal situations internally.”

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Chelsea signed Kounde’s fellow Frenchman Benoit Badiashile in the winter transfer window.

And after missing out on the Barcelona star, the Blues signed Wesley Fofana from Leicester City for around £70million.

Despite the signings of Badiashile, Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly, the Premier League club should not be ruled out if the rumours about Kounde are true.

Koulibaly has failed to impress since joining from Napoli and it would not be a surprise to see him moved on in the summer.

Hardly any Chelsea players are safe from being sold at the end of the season given the fact their playing squad is ridiculously big.

The Blues are expected to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager, though there is a pretty good indication of where they will improve over the summer.

A new striker is a top priority and a move for Victor Osimhen seems pretty likely, but whether or not they will be able to meet Napoli’s £130million price tag remains to be seen.

The acquisition of a new defensive midfielder also looks to be on the cards, while Pochettino is expected to sign a new goalkeeper with Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy’s futures up in the air.

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