Jules Kounde ready to adapt to 'Barca style' as he joins Catalan giants

Club unveil French defender on Monday and announce sale of a part of their production hub for €100m

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Jules Kounde said he was glad to join an ambitious club like Barcelona as the Catalan club officially unveiled the centre back on Monday.

According to the reports, Barca paid Sevilla €50 million, with €10m in bonuses, for Kounde who has signed a five-year contract. He was also courted by Premier League club Chelsea but decided to go with Barca.

"I'm very happy, very proud. I'm coming to a big club, an ambitious club, and I'm also coming with ambition," the 23-year-old French international said at the club's training centre.

"It's true that I had another offer but I made the effort to wait for Barca to reach an agreement with Sevilla. When I saw that it was possible, I chose Barca because I knew very clearly where I wanted to go.

"It wasn't a big decision, because I wanted to come here."

Kounde joined Sevilla from Bordeaux in 2019 and said his knowledge of La Liga will make it easier to adapt.

"The most important thing will be to adapt to the Barca style," he added.

"From the start I felt the kindness of the coach [Xavi], I felt that he wanted me to come. That was one of the keys, because it's one of the most important steps in my career. He asked me to continue doing what I was doing at Sevilla: being aggressive, getting the ball out of our own half."

Meanwhile, Barcelona sold part of their production hub for €100m to boost finances in a bid to use newly signed players right away.

Club president Joan Laporta announced Monday the club sold a 25 per cent stake of Barca Studios to Socios.com, a blockchain provider in the sports and entertainment business.

The club said the sale will “accelerate” the club’s strategies related to audiovisual, blockchain and online products.

The money should also allow Barcelona to meet Spanish league financial requirements and sign the players acquired recently, including Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Kounde.

The club spent more than €160m on the three players, becoming Europe’s leading spender in the offseason despite being mired in financial difficulties until recently.

Updated: August 01, 2022, 2:41 PM