According to rumors, Chelsea may miss out on signing Jules Kounde from Sevilla because Barcelona has accepted a last-ditch approach.
Fabrizio Romano stated on Friday that the Blues had sent papers to Sevilla in order to get it over the line with a £55m agreement completed, however, the transfer was still awaiting Sevilla’s final clearance to avoid additional attempts from Barcelona.
According to Spanish media, Barcelona ‘nearly ruled out’ signing Kounde this summer.
However, on Saturday morning, Spanish journalist Gerard Moreno said that Barcelona had thrown a bomb at the Blues.
He said that Barcelona and Kounde had achieved an agreement in principle.
Despite Sevilla’s doubts that Barcelona will pay anything close to their £55 million asking price for the center-back, the La Liga club has used another financial lever to secure an agreement.
Moreno claims that France teammate Ousmane Dembele played a crucial part in convincing Kounde to sign for Barcelona and that they have now won the race.
According to recent rumors, barring a last-minute hiccup, the 23-year-old will join Camp Nou this weekend.
If Barcelona is confirmed as Kounde’s next destination, he will become the club’s fifth high-profile signing of the summer, following Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, and Robert Lewandowski.
Chelsea would be gazumped for the second time this summer, having agreed on a fee for Raphinha before his eventual move to Catalonia.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel would also miss out on another favored transfer target at a time when he has stated that he wants to add at least one more center-back.
Although Kalidou Koulibaly has already been signed in from Napoli, effectively replacing Antonio Rudiger, Tuchel requires a replacement for Christensen on the right side of his back three.
Tuchel may now insist that interim sporting director Todd Boehly aggressively pursue the signing of Paris Saint-Presnel Germain’s Kimpembe, but the Frenchman has previously stated his intention to stay at Parc des Princes.