Man Utd, Chelsea brutally snubbed by Barcelona player after ‘positioning themselves’ for £65m deal

Jason Soutar
Man Utd-linked Barcelona defender Jules Kounde takes a drink of water

Premier League giants Man Utd and Chelsea have reportedly ‘positioned themselves’ to sign Jules Kounde, who has denied he has asked to leave Barcelona.

Kounde joined Barcelona from Sevilla for €50million (£43.5m) last summer, despite interest from Chelsea which dated back to 2021.

He has played a lot of this season in right-back, which has sparked talk of a move elsewhere in the summer.

Spanish journalist Toni Juanmarti stated earlier this week that the Frenchman ‘does not feel comfortable’ at the Nou Camp and has made it known he is willing to leave so Barcelona can raise funds.

Naturally, Chelsea have been linked with a move for Kounde, with Man Utd also thrown in the mix as Erik ten Hag looks to improve in right-back and centre-back.

Sky Germany referenced a report from Spanish newspaper Sport on Thursday morning which stated both clubs have ‘positioned thesmelves’ in the race to land Kounde.

It was said that Barcelona would ‘demand at least €70m’ (£65.2m) with the 24-year-old ‘unhappy’ in Catalonia.

Talk of a summer transfer looks to be short-lived, however.

Kounde has taken to Twitter to refute claims he has asked to leave. Fabrizio Romano is good, but it has to be said this source is in a tier of its own.

The French international wrote: ‘To make it clear: at no time did I ask to leave, so I’m not going anywhere.’

Chelsea have spent an absolute fortune over the last year, but will probably bring in another two or three players in the summer.

A new striker is imperative, while a defensive midfielder is definitely on the agenda.

Elsewhere on the pitch, (expected) incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino will probably buy a new centre-back.

Given the fact the Blues squad is extremely bloated, the sales of several first-team players should be the priority going into the summer window.

Man Utd actually have very similar priorities, with a new No. 9 top of Erik ten Hag’s list.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been linked with both teams, though it has to be said a move to Chelsea seems very unlikely, even with Pochettino at the helm.

The Red Devils have also been linked with Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.

As for midfielders, they are reportedly leading the race to sign Chelsea’s Mason Mount and are also interested in signing West Ham captain Declan Rice.

The Blues reportedly want as much as £80m for Mount despite his contract expiring in 2024.

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