Newcastle are trying to ‘tempt’ Chelsea and Barcelona target Jules Kounde into a move to St James’ Park, according to reports.
The Blues are long-time admirers of the Sevilla defender and reportedly agreed personal terms with him last summer.
The transfer saga has continued into this summer transfer window, with Barcelona now vying for the Frenchman’s signature.
Kounde’s future will probably not be resolved for a number of weeks such is the nature of this saga. Numerous news outlets have different takes on the situation, whether it be English or Spanish media.
First off, Mundo Deportivo (via the Express) reported on Wednesday that Newcastle have ‘tempted’ the player with a move to the north east.
A new central defender is a priority for the Magpies this summer. They are believed to be growing frustrated with Lille over their pursuit of Sven Botman.
However, the Spanish newspaper claims that Kounde ‘wants’ Barcelona and will pursue a move to Sevilla’s league rivals.
On top of that, reliable journalist Helena Condis has reported that ‘official talks’ between the two La Liga clubs have now ‘started’.
Jules Koundé committed only 15 fouls in La Liga last season, with an 80% success rate in his tackles.
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) June 18, 2022
Barca are not willing to meet Sevilla’s €60m asking price and are hoping to reduce the fee, with Chelsea still leading the race, Condis says.
And according to Ekrem Konur, the Blaugrana could see a way around the asking price by signing Kounde on loan with an option to buy included in the deal.
The Catalan giants have a number of top targets but are unable to put money on the table due to their difficult financial situation. They are also keen on Raphinha, who wants to join, but Arsenal are the only club to submit an offer to Leeds.
Barca are signing Andreas Christensen on a free transfer when his Chelsea contract expires, however, defensive space should open up as they look to offload French duo Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti.
Furthermore, they could offer cash plus Sergino Dest to Sevilla. The American right-back is believed to be worth around €30m, which could drive Kounde’s price down.
Chelsea are definitely in the driving seat as things stand and could capitalise on Barca’s lack of funds. A report on Tuesday claimed that the 23-year-old’s representatives have told the Blues to do more to get a deal over the line.
Despite reports that Kounde will cost €60m (£51.7m), it has also been stated that he will cost above £60m. His current release clause is €80m (£68.9m).
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