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Blow for Chelsea as Barcelona agree personal terms with Jules Kounde

Barcelona have agreed personal terms with Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, according to journalist Gerard Romero.

Kounde first signed for Sevilla in 2019, arriving from Bordeaux for an estimated €25 million. He wasted little time in making an impression at his new club, winning the Europa League in his debut season. In the process, he was named in the competition’s Squad of the Season.

Since then, his stock has continued to grow. The 23-year-old has attracted a lot of attention from some of Europe’s top clubs, and has earned 11 caps for the France national team. He was part of Didier Deschamps’ squad for last summer’s European Championships, and started in their UEFA Nations League final victory over Spain in October.

Now, he could be set to make the next step of his career. Gerard Romero reports that Barcelona have reached an agreement with the Frenchman over personal terms.

La Blaugrana are looking to bring in a younger centre-back this summer, due to concerns over Gerard Pique’s future. The Spaniard is a club legend, but is now 35 years old and will need replacing soon. Andreas Christensen has arrived from Chelsea on a free transfer, but the recruitment of Kounde would also be a huge plus.

However, there is still a long way to go before the defender can sign a contract at the Camp Nou. Barcelona still need to reach an understanding with Sevilla, and reports suggest that Los Nervionenses are unwilling to accept a reduced fee unless they can agree a swap deal.

Nonetheless, this news will come as a disappointment to Chelsea, who have also been eyeing up a move for Kounde. The Blues are in the market for a centre-back, with Antonio Rudiger and the aforementioned Christensen both departing on free transfers.

They are likely to be left looking elsewhere for a central defender. Recent reports state that Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is on the verge of coming to Stamford Bridge, while Nathan Ake could also be set to return to the place where he began his career.

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