Barcelona set a HUGE price tag for HIGHLY-RATED defender amid exit rumours

May 24, 2023

Barcelona have reportedly slapped a hefty price tag on in-demand French defender Jules Kounde amid interest from several clubs this summer.

The 24-year-old has established himself as a crucial starter for Xavi’s side since making a permanent switch from Sevilla for around €50 million last summer. 

Though a central defender, Kounde is versatile enough to play right-back. He has demoted former first-choice right-back Sergi Roberto to the bench, registering one goal and six assists in 38 matches across all competitions this season.

Despite enjoying a productive first season in Catalonia, where he is highly appreciated, Kounde is reportedly dissatisfied with his playing role.

According to a report by SPORT (via Sportskeeda), the 19-cap French international wants to play his favoured centre-back role. But he knows that Inigo Martinez’s imminent arrival as a free agent from Athletic Bilbao would continue to force him to feature on the right. As a result, he is willing to seek a permanent transfer away from Camp Nou this summer.

But according to reputed journalist Gerard Romero, Barcelona value Kounde highly and don’t want to lose him. However, La Blaugrana are willing to hold talks for the defender if they receive bids in the region of €90 million in the upcoming summer transfer window. 

However, they feel the player’s agent is using the threat of exit as a tactic to negotiate a new salary, so they are reluctant to put the Frenchman in the shop window.

Kounde’s current contract deal at Camp Nou runs until June 2027. He was heavily linked with Chelsea last summer before moving to the Camp Nou. 

It remains to be seen whether the Stamford Bridge side will reignite their pursuit of Kounde as they will likely lose veteran centre-back Thiago Silva this summer.

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Jules Kounde’s potential replacement at Barcelona?

Meanwhile, according to Romero, should Barcelona lose Kounde to a permanent switch this summer, they will try to secure Villarreal defender Juan Foyth’s signature as an ideal replacement. Xavi’s side is also keeping an eye on a host of other right-back options, such as Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot, Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard, Manchester City’s João Cancelo, Borussia Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier, Brighton’s Joel Veltman and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong.

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