Barcelona make last-ditch attempt to convince Jules Kounde to snub Chelsea

    Barcelona make last-ditch attempt to convince Jules Kounde to snub Chelsea
    The Blues have nudged ahead in the race to sign the defender (Picture: Getty)

    Barcelona are preparing a fresh offer for Jules Kounde but will not match Chelsea’s bid, with the Catalan club now relying on the defender to force a move to Camp Nou.

    For several weeks, Barca had appeared to be at the front of the queue to land the France international but have suddenly been gazumped by Chelsea.

    The west Londoners are willing to pay Sevilla £55million, a fee which is closer to their asking price, as well as handing Kounde a lucrative contract.

    But Barcelona are not giving up on the 23-year-old and are ready to sell off another stake in their merchandising arm to finance a fresh offer of their own.

    According to Sport, however, the new bid will not reach the £55m price tag that Chelsea are offering and the Spanish side will need to rely on Kounde to get any deal over the line.

    It is a similar situation to what happened with Raphinha earlier this summer, when Barca submitted a lower offer to Leeds than Chelsea but secured a deal after the Brazilian made it clear he only wanted a move to Camp Nou.

    Barca are now hoping to convince Kounde to try the same ploy with Sevilla – though it may not work this time around.

    Barcelona make last-ditch attempt to convince Jules Kounde to snub Chelsea
    Barca won’t land Kounde unless he rejects Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

    Unlike Raphinha, Kounde is happy to move to Stamford Bridge – particularly with such a large salary on offer – and already agreed personal terms a year ago when Chelsea first tried to sign him.

    The deal between Sevilla and Chelsea is believed to be very advanced and if Barca do not make an acceptable offer then Kounde will not wait around.

    That said, his preference is to join Barcelona and Sevilla are expecting one last ‘madness’ from the Catalan side as they attempt to hijack Chelsea’s proposal.

    For now, though, Barca’s hierarchy are increasingly resigned to the likelihood of missing out on Kounde unless he dramatically decides to reject Chelsea and implores Sevilla to let him move to Camp Nou for a reduced fee.

    Barcelona have already been drawing up a list of potential alternatives, with Arsenal youngster William Saliba and RB Leipzig’s highly rated centre-back Josko Gvardiol among them.

    Chelsea, meanwhile, have already signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and manager Thomas Tuchel would like to bring in a third centre-back even after landing Kounde.

    MORE : Barcelona considering Arsenal raid if Chelsea win Jules Kounde race

    MORE : Jules Kounde excited at prospect of Kalidou Koulibaly partnership as Chelsea owner Todd Boehly looks to beat Barcelona to £51m transfer

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