Earlier this week, it was reported Xavi Hernandez is keen on signing a new central defender and had identified two top targets, including Jules Kounde.
The Frenchman has emerged as a transfer priority for Xavi who is looking for a new centre-back in light of Gerard Pique’s adductor injury.
Today, Mundo Deportivo has dropped an interesting update on Barcelona’s pursuit of Kounde, revealing Sevilla’s willingness to sanction the sale of the defender, who is keen on leaving the club at the end of the season.
Barcelona are aware of the financial implications of the operation, with Fabrizio Romano recently speculating a fee of around €80 million.
But the Catalans are ready to lower the cost by adding a few players in a player plus cash deal. They are willing to send Sergino Dest and Clement Lenglet to the other side, in addition to paying a premium for the Frenchman.
Sevilla are being receptive to such a proposal and are open to signing Dest as they have been following him for quite some time. They consider the American international an ideal replacement for the ageing Jesus Navas.
Lenglet is a more debated topic as the club are not overly open to the idea of the Frenchman returning to Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, given his rapid fall from grace over the past year and a half.
It makes the operation a bit difficult for Barcelona unless they are open to offering other key players in the team. Oscar Mingueza could be an interesting piece, along with Riqui Puig.
But that should be the least of worries for Barça as they are also expected to face renewed competition from Chelsea. The Blues had missed out on Kounde narrowly last time, but will be keen on sealing the deal this time around.
Newcastle United are involved in the equation as well, though it remains to be seen whether Kounde himself favours a move to St. James’ Park.