Barcelona are reportedly preparing an offer for Sevilla’s defensive mainstay Jules Kounde, who has a release clause worth €90 million in his contract.
According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, Barcelona are ready to step up their interest in signing Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. The Catalan giants are preparing an offer for the Frenchman that could seen three players – Philippe Coutinho, Clement Lenglet, and Junior Firpo – move the other way in exchange for the centre-back.
Kounde signed for Sevilla in the summer of 2019 and has quickly gone about establishing himself as one of the finest young defenders in Europe. The 22-year-old was integral to Los Nervionenses’ UEFA Europa League triumph in 2019/20 and enjoyed another fine campaign in 2020/21, helping Julen Lopetegui’s side finish fourth in La Liga.
Naturally, Kounde has attracted a lot of interest from a number of clubs across Europe with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea interested in his services. Now, it seems like Barcelona too have entered the fray to sign the 22-year-old, who has been called up by the French national team for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020.
Barcelona’s defence is in need of a major rejig this summer with Gerard Pique not getting any younger while Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet are facing uncertain futures at the club after a disappointing 2020/21 season. Eric Garcia is set to arrive on a free transfer from Manchester City in a short time but there is certainly room for another new central defender to complement Ronald Araujo and Oscar Mingueza.
Kounde, to that end, would be a fine addition for the Blaugrana camp. And, in order to push for his signing, Barcelona are now ready to offer as many as three players in exchange. The first of these players that the Catalan giants are willing to trade is former Sevilla defender Lenglet himself, who would serve as an immediate replacement for Kounde at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
The second player that Barcelona are looking to offer is left-back Junior Firpo, who has struggled to carve his way into the side after making the switch from Real Betis in 2019. The Catalans are intent on signing a new left-back and have already submitted an enquiry for Atalanta’s German international defender Robin Gosens, making Firpo surplus to requirements at Camp Nou and thus an expendable option.
Finally, the third star that Barcelona want to trade in a deal for Kounde is record signing Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian has endured a torrid time since his dream move from Liverpool in January 2018 and hasn’t been able to revive his fortunes even after a mildly successful loan spell with Bayern Munich.
Coutinho spent the most part of the 2020/21 season out injured, and is not expected to play again for Barcelona, with him not being a part of the plans for the future. And, he could, thus, be utilised in the deal to secure the transfer of Kounde from Sevilla. It remains to be seen if the La Liga club are willing to entertain such an offer for the 22-year-old, who has a €90 million release clause embedded in his contract.