Spanish media rules out Kounde to Barcelona as Chelsea close in on long-term target

Jason Soutar
Jules Kounde in action for France

Barcelona will turn their attention elsewhere after giving up in their pursuit of Chelsea target Jules Kounde, according to reports in Spain.

The Blues have been in negotiations with Sevilla for a number of weeks after failing to meet their valuation of the French defender last summer.

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After being priced out of a move a year ago, it is believed that the Premier League side now have an agreement in place with their Spanish counterparts.

Following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, on top of the potential departures of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and left-back Marcos Alonso, Thomas Tuchel is very keen on utilising the summer transfer window to bolster his defence.

Chelsea have already brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in a deal worth around £34million, but the west Londoners are far from finished in their defensive recruitment.

Kounde is a top target and has been for over a year, however, the Blues are facing stiff competition from Barcelona, who are also very interested in signing the Sevilla centre-half.

Friday morning has brought lots of positive news for Chelsea, with multiple reports from Spain indicating that the Catalan club have all but given up on signing Kounde.

Relevo have reported that Barcelona have ‘practically given up’, meanwhile, Adria Albets has said a deal is ‘almost ruled out’ (via Managing Barca).

Furthermore, Helena Condis has reported that Barca have not made an offer to sign the 23-year-old and will now strengthen by signing other players.

CBS Sports correspondent Ben Jacobs has also claimed that Chelsea ‘believe they have won the race’ to land Kounde.

It was reported by Gerard Romero on Thursday that the La Liga giants are Kounde’s priority, and are leading the race to land the France international.

And Roger Torello has insisted that Barca could still sign Kounde, contrary to reports.

Torello claims that the former Bordeaux defender still prefers a move to the Nou Camp and both La Liga clubs are still in negotiations over a move.

Should a deal fall through, Chelsea are believed to be eyeing up RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol and Paris-Saint Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe as potential alternatives.