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Barcelona wanted €70 million-rated PSG target as Plan B if Kounde move had failed

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Barcelona’s pursuit of Jules Kounde was a significant milestone for the club as they were able to sign one of the most talented young centre-backs in world football from the jaws of Chelsea.

It was a testament to the club’s sporting clout even in the midst of a financial crisis. However, as revealed by Catalunya Radio (h/t Diario SPORT), Barcelona had a plan B, in case they had failed in the pursuit of the former Sevilla centre-back.

Their primary alternative for Kounde was none other than Milan Skriniar. The Inter Milan centre-back was rated highly by Xavi Hernandez due to his technical quality and experience at the highest level of football.

During his time at Inter, Skriniar has indeed established himself as one of the best defenders in Serie A. He has racked up 227 competitive appearances, building a formidable defensive partnership alongside Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij.

However, the deal to sign Skriniar could not materialise as Barcelona had identified Kounde as the first preference. The Frenchman was a far younger alternative and was similar to veteran defender Gerard Pique, in terms of his style of play.

Kounde had valuable experience in La Liga as well, which had impressed Xavi at the time. But another major reason behind Barcelona opting for the Frenchman was his price tag.

The Catalans paid around €50 million for the former Sevilla centre-back, which proved to be a much cheaper alternative to Skriniar, who was valued at a whopping €70 million by Inter Milan.

Hence, Barcelona ended up signing Jules Kounde, even though the youngster is yet to hit the ground running. The Frenchman was already struggling with fitness issues the summer and had picked up an injury during the international break.

However, the Barça camp is confident that the 23-year-old will be able to make his return to the pitch in the upcoming game against Real Madrid this weekend.

Player valuation in title obtained from transfermarkt.com on date of publication.

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