After a promising start to life under Xavi Hernandez, Barcelona are set to undergo a massive squad overhaul in the summer as they look to strengthen their ranks ahead of the new season.
With the Catalans setting their sights firmly on the league title as well as the Champions League, coach Xavi has asked for the signing of an additional central defender, alongside Andreas Christensen, who has already agreed to join Barcelona on a free transfer.
Barcelona have identified quite a few options in the market so far, but as per reports from Mundo Deportivo, Xavi is prioritising a move for Jules Kounde.
The French defensive ace is expected to depart Sevilla in the summer, in favour of a new adventure elsewhere. Xavi has alerted both the technical board and president Joan Laporta of his desire to snap up the young defender this summer.
Laporta himself is expected to take control of Barcelona’s pursuit of Kounde and lead the negotiations. Sevilla have appeared receptive to offers for the Frenchman this summer, with the report quoting a figure of around €65-70 million.
Barcelona are trying to include Sergino Dest or Francisco Trincao in the operation to bring down the price.
In addition to the financial shortcoming, Barcelona are facing many other roadblocks in their pursuit of Kounde, including the interest from Premier League clubs such as Chelsea.
Kounde himself is aware of the interest from the English outfits, who are more than willing to meet Sevilla’s demands. The defender, though, has made it clear he wants to move to Barcelona and become the central piece of Xavi’s defensive setup.
It should serve as a massive boost for the Blaugrana. The club are not in a position to meet Sevilla’s demands this summer, but they can potentially find market solutions to lower the cost of the operation.
Barça have multiple players tipped to leave the club in the summer. It should go a long way in helping them generate the desired revenue, although Sevilla themselves may have to lower their demands if they are to sanction the sale of their prized defensive asset.