La Liga heavyweights Barcelona have reportedly fallen behind Chelsea in the race to sign Jules Kounde, valued at around €65 million by Sevilla.

According to a report by Spanish publication AS, Barcelona will need to raise the bar to secure the services of Jules Kounde in the summer transfer window. The Catalan giants have fallen behind Chelsea, with the Blues having most of the relevant agreements in place to land the French international, valued at around €65 million by Sevilla.

Jules Kounde has become one of the most highly sought-after players in the market since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux in July 2019. The 23-year-old has been one of the best defenders in La Liga in the last three years, with his performances helping him establish a foothold in the French national team.

The French international has turned out 133 times for Sevilla while chipping in with nine goals and three assists thus far. But Kounde’s time at the Andalusian club will likely end in the summer transfer window, with Barcelona and Chelsea keen on securing his services.

Chelsea had attempted to sign Kounde last summer before Sevilla raised the price tag at the eleventh hour to kill the Blues’ hopes of landing him. But Chelsea’s interest in Kounde has grown further in the past year, with recent reports even claiming that they were closing in on securing his services.

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But the west Londoners face stiff competition from Barcelona in the race to sign Kounde. The Blaugrana reportedly moved quickly in discussions with Sevilla over a possible move in the summer transfer window, with Kounde emerging as the preferred target to be Gerard Pique’s long-term successor at Camp Nou.

Recent reports had even suggested that Kounde was prioritising joining Barcelona instead of Chelsea this summer. But the Blues have an agreement in place on personal terms and will likely have no qualms about shelling out €65 million to sign the French international this summer.

On the other hand, Barcelona will not be able to afford to pay €65 million to sign Kounde until their “economic levers” activate. The Catalan giants have thus fallen behind Chelsea in the race to sign Kounde in the summer transfer window, with the French international edging closer to moving to Stamford Bridge as a long-term replacement for Barcelona-bound Andreas Christensen.

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