Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of Jules Kounde with Barcelona now confident of securing the Sevilla defender.
The Blues agreed a £55million deal for the 23-year-old, who they have been tracking for the past year.
However, their move for Kounde alerted Barca into reigniting their interest in the player.
And Spanish publication Sport now reports that the Catalans have agreed a deal worth £51m for Kounde, which will tie him to the club until the summer of 2026.
Kounde is said to have already spoken to Barca manager Xavi and finalised personal terms.
He is now poised to become the latest addition of a crazy window for Barca who, despite having major financial problems, have completed deals for former Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Franck Kessie.
This is yet another blow for Chelsea in the transfer window with the west London club also interested in Raphinha and Lewandowski before Barca came calling.
Meanwhile, Christensen ran down his contract at Stamford Bridge to join the LaLiga giants, while Antonio Rudiger joined Real Madrid on a free.
It’s also been reported that Blues club captain Cesar Azpilicueta could follow in Christensen’s footsteps and leave Chelsea for Barca.
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Chelsea have signed Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling this summer but boss Thomas Tuchel is not happy about his squad ahead of the new season.
Speaking on The Sunday Session, talkSPORT regular Darren Lewis said: “The interesting thing is that Todd Boehly has been beaten to the punch by Barcelona for Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski, he’s not managed to get Nathan Ake out of Manchester City and now it looks to be the case that he’s being beaten again by Barcelona for Jules Kounde.
“At the very least he’s struggling to get these signings over the line.
“If you look at Arsenal, they’ve done five transfers now, Liverpool have done their business, City have done their business, you look at Tottenham and they’ve done their business.
“If you at Chelsea, they’re lagging behind and this idea that you can take over a club and you do the business, it’s proving to be a lot more difficult than Todd Boehly and the people around him must have thought.
“On the basis of last night’s defeat to Arsenal, a lot of us in the press box couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Chelsea looked so poor. They looked so unable to cope with a side who, as Tuchel said after the match, finished below them in the table and won’t play in the Champions League this season.
“Arsenal looked coached, ready and their signings looked integrated. Oleksandr Zinchenko went straight into the side, Jesus looks like the striker they’ve been crying out for, and they just looked at it.
“Chelsea can’t get players in, they can’t move players out and as Tuchel said, Chelsea have got players who are desperate to leave.
“He didn’t name those players but I can tell you they are Hakim Ziyech who wants to go to AC Milan, Marcos Alonso wants to go to Barcelona, Cesar Azpilicueta wants to go to Barcelona, Timo Werner wants to go to get regular first-team football and Christian Pulisic wants to go and get first-team football.
“At the moment, Chelsea are a bit of a mess.”