Barcelona reach agreement on deal to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla

France defender was also on radar of Chelsea but has decided to move to the Catalan giants

Jules Kounde joined Sevilla in 2019 and played 133 games for the Spanish club. AP
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Barcelona have reached an agreement to sign defender Jules Kounde from La Liga rivals Sevilla in a €50 million deal.

The 23-year-old France international had been on the radar of Premier League side Chelsea but Barcelona announced on Thursday that Kounde was moving to Camp Nou.

Barca said in a statement: “FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC have reached an agreement for the transfer of Jules Olivier Kounde, awaiting the player passing a medical and the signing of contracts.”

Chelsea made several bids for Kounde during last year and it is thought he was close to joining Thomas Tuchel's side this month before Barcelona made a late push.

Spanish media have reported that Barca manager Xavi Hernandez made Kounde a priority signing and pushed strongly to secure the transfer.

It is the second time Barcelona have won a transfer battle with Chelsea this summer, having also beaten the London club to the signature of Leeds United winger Raphinha.

Despite their well documented financial problems, Barca have already signed the prolific Polish striker Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie, who was a free agent after leaving AC Milan.

The club's spending has been fueled by the sale of 25 per cent of their domestic television rights to investment firm Sixth Street for the next 25 years.

However, Barcelona need to meet La Liga's salary cap to be able to register their new signings.

Kounde is currently recovering from groin surgery following an operation last month but is expected to be available for the start of the new season.

The Paris-born player joined Sevilla in 2019 from Bordeaux and made 133 appearances for the Andalusian club. He won the Europa League in his first season in Spain and has played 11 times for France.

Barcelona, who finished second last season behind champions Real Madrid, begin their La Liga campaign at home to Rayo Vallecano on August 13.

Updated: July 28, 2022, 5:46 PM