Chelsea’s move for Jules Kounde could be hijacked by Barcelona, if reports in Spain are to be believed.
Chelsea have been targetting Kounde for well over a year, though were unable to come to an agreement with Sevilla in either of the last two transfer windows.
However, reports in recent days have suggested that Chelsea are edging closer to finally landing their man, with the club having tabled an offer worth £55 million and having agreed personal terms with the player on a five-year deal.
Then, on Saturday morning, Barcelona based journalist Gerard Romero sensationally reported that the Catalan club had ‘reached an agreement in principle’ with Sevilla, saying that the player is 99% likely to join the club barring a ‘cataclysm’ – a bold claim indeed.
While Romero is often a well-placed source in regards to all things Barcelona, his claims have since been refuted by others.
Fabrizio Romano has said that Sevilla are denying any agreement with La Blaugrana, and says that their negotiations at this time are ‘only with Chelsea’.
He does however say that the Spanish side are ‘preparing’ a bid, though their offer will not match that it will not match the ‘conditions’ of the bid tabled by the Blues.
More points on Koundé 🚨🇫🇷
▫️ Koundé has always been in talks with both Chelsea and Barça in the last 2 weeks;
▫️ Barcelona proposal won’t match Chelsea conditions, “too high” – different structure;
▫️ Chelsea sent official bid 3 days ago, still hoping for Sevilla green light.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 23, 2022
It seems like the situation certainly is progressing at pace, with both sides seemingly involved in a tug of war for the 23-year-old, with Barcelona having already beaten Chelsea to the signing of Raphinha this summer after the Blues had agreed a fee and personal terms for the Brazilian.
Barcelona are also interested in a move for Chelsea skipper, Cesar Azpilicueta, though their pursuit of the Spaniard has left Blues boss, Thomas Tuchel, frustrated.
“Maybe a little bit [annoyed],” he said during the club’s pre-season tour of the USA, as per Sky Sports.
“It’s a tough question because I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants.
“At some point it is about what we want. I just made the comparison about how much we fought for Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age.
“He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. I see him maybe at the same level but Barcelona don’t see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player.
“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.
“He doesn’t like it but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him. On September 1 when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level.”
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