Sevilla centre-back Kounde appeared to be heading to Stamford Bridge this summer but Barcelona have hijacked the move.
Xavi is desperate to welcome the French defender to the Nou Camp, having already secured deals for Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and former Chelsea star Andreas Christensen.
While Kounde is open to a move to Chelsea, he would prefer to join Barcelona, but the situation is being complicated by Barca’s financial difficulties.
The Independent say Barcelona are unlikely to press forward with Kounde before they make sales and have therefore asked Kounde to delay making a decision over his future.
This will undoubtedly frustrate Chelsea’s owners, who want to bring another star player to Stamford Bridge after seeing the side lose 4-0 to Arsenal in a pre-season friendly over the weekend.
After that defeat, a furious Thomas Tuchel insisted it was imperative that he is backed with new signings before the 2022-23 season starts next week.
‘My analysing of the season does not change because of this game. Unfortunately, it proved my point,’ he said.
‘Last week proves my point. I would absolutely prefer not to be right. I did everything to prove myself wrong, but at the moment, I feel that I was right.
‘I look at the last season and parts of the game where we struggled, parts of the season where we struggled, and then we got sanctioned and players left us and some players are trying to leave us, and this is where it is.
‘So we had an urgent appeal for quality players, a huge amount of quality players. We got two quality players, but we are not competitive like this. Unfortunately, you could see it today.’
One player Barcelona are trying to sell is Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who has been linked with both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta provided an update on De Jong’s future yesterday, telling reporters: ‘Frenkie is our player, we really like him.
‘We received some offers for Frenkie but we didn’t accept as of now, as we want to talk with him and know exactly what he wants. We need to clarify some aspects of his situation.’
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