La Liga heavyweights Barcelona are hoping to secure the services of 23-year-old French international Jules Kounde in a €45 million deal.

According to a report by ESPN, Barcelona will start to ramp up the efforts to secure the services of their priority targets for the summer transfer window after activating the first economic lever. And the Catalan giants are optimistic about reaching an agreement with Sevilla over a €45 million deal for Jules Kounde.

Jules Kounde has gone from strength to strength since joining Sevilla from Bordeaux in July 2019. The 23-year-old hit the ground running at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium and played a pivotal role in their UEFA Europa League triumph in 2019/20. And the young defender has been on a constantly upward trajectory in the last two years.

Kounde has also established a foothold in the French national side and will likely be on the plane to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. At the same time, the player’s exploits for Sevilla and France have captured the attention of some of the most high-profile clubs in Europe, with Barcelona one of his prospective suitors.

Barcelona will need to sign a top-class central defender, considering Gerard Pique is approaching the end of his glittering career. Pique’s inevitable exit in the coming years will leave Xavi Hernandez wanting a centre-back who will shore up the backline while also bringing leadership qualities to the table.

Kounde has thus emerged as a priority target for Barcelona, even though they are on the verge of signing Andreas Christensen in a Bosman move. The French international has the quality to forge arguably the most solid central defensive partnership in the world with Ronald Araujo, with the French international keen on joining the Blaugrana.

But the Catalan giants face stiff competition from Chelsea in the race to sign Kounde, with the Blues in the market for replacements for Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, who has joined Real Madrid. But Barcelona will be in the pole position to secure the services of the 23-year-old, and they hope to land him in a €45 million deal this summer.

Kounde is valued at around €60 million by Sevilla, but Barcelona will likely look to coax the Andalusian club to compromise on the transfer fee and agree to a €45 million deal. It will be interesting to see how Los Nervionenses respond when the Catalan giants table their offer for the French international.

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