Jules Kounde had become a hot topic in Barcelona circles earlier this month, with reports linking him with a move away from Camp Nou over his apparent unhappiness at the role he was given at the club.
Kounde was indeed not happy with Xavi for forcing him to play at right-back. He wanted to play in his favoured centre-back role. This led to speculations suggesting that the defender had asked the club to listen to offers for him in the transfer market.
However, Xavi has now once again denied these rumours, suggesting that the speculations were created by the media.
“Koundé, no problem. Nothing has happened. It was all done by the media. I had a conversation with him a week ago and there were no problems,” Xavi told Diario SPORT (h/t Fabrizio Romano).
Kounde has played in 39 competitive matches during his maidens season at Barcelona. But 21 of those appearances have come in the right-back position.
Xavi admitted that the Frenchman has a problem with playing at right-back, but insisted everything is fine between the player and the club.
“It’s true that he feels more comfortable playing as a CB than as a full-back, but everything is fine,” he said.
Xavi’s comments come shortly after Kounde himself had categorically denied these rumours, explaining that he had never asked for a transfer away from Barcelona.
Both parties, therefore, will look to move on and focus on the season ahead. It will be particularly interesting to see whether Barcelona listen to Kounde’s plea by going after a new right-back in the coming summer.
The club have been linked with moves for a host of players across Europe, but in the midst of an economic crisis, it could prove to be difficult for Xavi and co. to secure a viable option.