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Barcelona begin talks to sign Ligue 1 captain – report



Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images

After weeks of uncertainty, it appears FC Barcelona have registered Jules Kounde, who was their last summer signing after joining from Sevilla on a permanent deal. His registration could serve as a pivotal moment in Barça’s transfer activity this summer, allowing the club to pursue other deals.

One of Xavi’s main priorities in these final few days of the transfer market is to sign at least one fullback on either side. While the left-back area appears to be a priority, the club are keen on signing a right-back as well, as Xavi is unhappy with Sergino Dest.

The American international has simply failed to live up to the potential, with Barcelona open to offloading him if the club can get their hands on a viable replacement.

However, Barça have already missed out on their primary target Cesar Azpilicueta while the pursuit of Juan Foyth has gotten complicated as well, effectively leaving the club without any viable options in the transfer market.

That said, the Catalans have not yet given up and are targeting a shock move for Hamari Traore, reports L’Equipe.

The French news outlet suggests Barcelona have identified the Rennes captain as an ideal last-minute option in the right-back position. They are aware of the defender’s vast experience at the highest level of football, having featured in almost 200 Ligue 1 matches, and rate him highly due to his leadership qualities.

Traore’s balanced gameplay out wide could make him a reliable option in the right-back position next season. But what makes him an even more appealing target for the Blaugrana is the fact that the defender’s contract at Rennes expires at the end of the season.

It effectively means Rennes must offload Traore in the summer if they are to yield any revenue, so there is room for Barcelona to sign him on a cut-price deal.

Rennes ideally should not object to the transfer, although a lot could depend on how readily they are willing to offload their captain, especially in the final week of the transfer market.

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