Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has reportedly added the prodigious Sevilla defender Jules Kounde to his list of targets.
Kounde thrived for Sevilla last season following his €25million arrival from Bordeaux in summer 2019. Having formed up a solid defensive partnership with Diego Carlos, the 21-year-old also helped the club win the Europa League.
Indeed, the Frenchman has nailed down the centre-back position at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan as his own. Kounde registered 25 La Liga starts, adding nine more in the Europa League.
After flourishing in Andalusia, the youngster could continue his career in Spain, but at Camp Nou.
According to the Daily Mail, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has taken an interest in the highly-rated defender.
Koeman is on the lookout for a new center-back to overhaul the defense he inherited from Quique Setien.
Gerard Pique approaches the autumn of his professional footballer’s career. Samuel Umtiti is prone to injuries and is likely to leave before the deadline passes.
That said, the Dutchman’s options are narrowed down to Clement Lenglet. The Frenchman also arrived from Sevilla, with whom Barca have a good relationship.
Ivan Rakitic has only recently swapped Catalonia for the Andalusian side, and Barcelona hope to be able to lure Kounde in the opposite direction.
But, Los Rojiblancos are adamant their prized asset is not for sale. Julen Lopetegui sees the promising defender as an integral part of his plans for next season.
Therefore, Sevilla will insist on Kounde’s £70million release clause, which could price Barcelona out of the deal.
“I will stay next year, I am very happy here, and we are going to enjoy the Champions League, I will not look away – I want to stay here,” he said.