Barcelona have reportedly called off their pursuit of Jules Kounde, as they cannot afford the Sevilla defender’s €65 million price tag.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Barcelona’s pursuit of Jules Kounde appears to be reaching its final course. However, instead of launching the offensive for the French defender, the Blaugrana have decided to end their interest in him as they cannot afford the €65 million demanded by Sevilla for his services.

Jules Kounde joined Sevilla from Bordeaux in July 2019 and has since established himself as one of the best defenders on the show in La Liga. At the same time, his progress has also enabled him to break into the French national side, where he has been featuring regularly this year.

At Sevilla, the 23-year-old has made 107 appearances to date, chipping in with six goals and two assists in the process. His exploits have not gone unnoticed, and in the summer, Kounde nearly joined Chelsea before the Blues ceded their pursuit late in the window. In recent weeks, the French international has also been linked with Barcelona.

The interest from Barcelona is understandable, considering Eric Garcia has not impressed much since arriving from Manchester City. In addition, Samuel Umtiti is surplus to requirements, while Gerard Pique is in the final phase of his career. At the same time, recent reports have suggested that the Blaugrana would not mind cashing in on Clement Lenglet.

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In addition, Ronald Araujo has been linked with a gamut of Premier League clubs, with his future at Camp Nou being uncertain. In such a scenario, it is clear that Barcelona must sign a centre-back at the earliest opportunity, with Kounde a viable target.

However, the Catalan giants have decided to end their interest in the French defender due to his €65 million price tag. Instead, Barcelona will focus their attention on signing Boubacar Kamara, whose contract with Marseille is winding down and will arrive on a free transfer next summer.

Recent reports had claimed that Kounde was weighing up the possibility of joining Barcelona, but he will now need to turn his attention towards other suitors. As for Barcelona, it remains to be seen if Kamara arrives at Barcelona on a Bosman move next summer or if the La Liga heavyweights are forced to set their sights on another defender.

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