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Barcelona coach does not want to continue with defender in makeshift role next season

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Last summer, there was considerable speculation that Jules Kounde wanted to return to his preferred position as a centre-back, feeling uneasy playing on the flank.

After discussions with coach Xavi Hernandez, Kounde got his way and started the season in a central role.

However, despite a strong start, his form started to decline, prompting the coach to move him back to the right-back position, where the defender has played for most of the year.

Xavi still wants a specialist right-back

While Kounde has produced some great displays since being deployed as the right-back, Mundo Deportivo reports that Xavi wants a specialized right-back for next season.

As per the information, Xavi sees Kounde better equipped through the centre and believes the Frenchman is often left overly exposed at the back. He does not intend to continue with Kounde in the full-back position.

Barcelona will have a fair few options for the right-back position, with Julian Araujo returning from loan next season and Hector Fort another appealing option.

Kounde has played at right-back mostly. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

If Joao Cancelo is signed on a permanent deal, he could also take on the right-back role, with Alejandro Balde set to return and cover the left-back position.

Moreover, the option of scouring the transfer market also exists, but Barcelona’s financial stability will dictate whether they are capable enough to start seeking luxuries.

Kounde is a hot commodity

If Xavi does not value the French defender in a wide role, Kounde’s options of staying put in Barcelona lessen considerably, as the Catalans are already spoiled for choice centrally.

With elite European teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, and PSG taking an interest in Kounde, a sale could potentially materialize, paving the path for Barcelona to sign a specialist right-back.

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