With the transfer window in Spain less than a week away, Barcelona are ready to up the ante in pursuit of their top targets so as to get in some players before the pre-season tour to the USA next month.
Robert Lewandowski remains Barcelona’s top target but Bayern Munich continue to pose a roadblock in their chase for the 33-year-old. Apart from the Poland international, Barcelona also have their sights set on a summer move for Sevilla and France defender Jules Kounde.
The 23-year-old centre-back has been identified as a priority by manager Xavi Hernandez as he plans to slowly phase Gerard Pique out of the first-team picture in the upcoming campaign due to his recurring injury issues and off-the-pitch issues.
Kounde has been an excellent performer for Sevilla since his €25 million arrival from Bordeaux in 2019. He has won the UEFA Europa League and been a critical part of the team that has achieved back-to-back top-four finishes in La Liga.
Sevilla have already sold Kounde’s defensive partner, Diego Carlos, to Premier League club Aston Villa for a big sum.
However, as per the cover page of SPORT on June 25, Saturday, the Andalusian outfit still are in need of selling players amid financial issues and the requirement to strengthen their own ranks this summer.
And Barcelona are ready to take advantage of the situation and put pressure on Sevilla to sell Kounde at the earliest possible.
However, the Blaugrana find themselves competing with Chelsea in the race to sign the 23-year-old French international.
The Premier League giants are reported to have made the Sevilla ace their top priority this summer and there is believed to be a verbal agreement between the player and the Blues.
However, SPORT claims that Chelsea have now cooled down their interest in the UEFA Nations League 2021 winner, allowing Barcelona to make a swoop.
Sevilla are demanding €65 million for Kounde, although the Blaugrana hope to negotiate a lower fee. Whether an agreement is reached between the two La Liga giants in the coming days remains to be seen.