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Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Man United among possible options for Barcelona defender

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Despite manager Xavi Hernandez reassuring that there is no cause for worry with regard to Jules Kounde and his future at Barcelona, reports of a possible summer exit refuse to go away.

On Tuesday, news broke claiming that the 24-year-old had grown unhappy over being used as a right-back even though he was promised a role at centre-back in the summer. As such, Kounde was understood to be open to leaving the club.

Not long after, Barcelona director Mateu Alemany also gave an update on the issue, stating that it was an internal issue and will be dealt with, which only raised question marks about Kounde’s future despite reports suggesting that he was not looking to leave.

However, more often than not, there is no smoke without fire, and that may very well be the case with Kounde as well.

Now, Gerard Romero reports that Kounde is attracting strong interest from several clubs in the Premier League ahead of the summer transfer window.

Building on those claims, SPORT’s Ivan San Antonio reports that English heavyweights Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United are all among possible options for Kounde if his exit does end up materialising in the summer.

The 24-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea last summer and the Blues were even willing to offer as much as €65 million for him. However, Xavi convinced the defender to choose Barcelona instead and Sevilla had to settle for a lesser fee.

But, with his future now becoming a topic of hot debate, Chelsea are understood to be lining up a move again, especially with Thiago Silva in the final phase of his career.

As for Manchester City, they too held an interest in Kounde while he was at Sevilla and are on the market for defensive reinforcements this summer. A chance to play for Pep Guardiola’s side is certain to appeal to the Frenchman.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez as their primary centre-backs. But with question marks lingering over Harry Maguire’s future, a new player could be brought in and Kounde is seen as a good fit due to his ability to play out from the back.

Finally, Arsenal would also be an option for the 24-year-old Frenchman as they are looking to reinforce the defence after injuries to William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu derailed their Premier League title challenge.

Apart from the English clubs, PSG would also be a possible avenue for Kounde if he does opt to leave Barcelona in the summer and much will depend on the offers that arrive for him.

Given that a large chunk of his transfer fee is yet to be amortised, Barcelona will only consider offers around and in excess of €80 million.

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