Jules Kounde reveals why he rejected Chelsea for Barcelona after talks with Thomas Tuchel

    FC Barcelona v Pumas UNAM - Joan Gamper Trophy
    Jules Kounde joined Barcelona over Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

    Barcelona star Jules Kounde has revealed he spoke to Thomas Tuchel about a move to Chelsea before rejecting the club’s offer.

    The Frenchman joined Barcelona in a £55m deal earlier this summer from Sevilla, despite the club’s financial problems.

    Chelsea attempted to sign Kounde in 2021 but refused to meet a £67million release clause in the defender’s contract.

    The Blues renewed their efforts in the summer transfer window with Todd Boehly willing to bankroll unprecedented levels of spending after his consortium’s takeover of the club.

    Tuchel held talks with Kounde and explained his vision for the Frenchman, who was seen as a replacement for Andreas Christsen and Antonio Rudiger.

    But, though Kounde was impressed with Tuchel, he says he couldn’t reject Barcelona’s advances after speaking to Xavi about a move to the Camp Nou.

    ‘First, I come to a huge club, which has known good times and which, lately, has had less,’ said Kounde.

    ‘I come to a project that I would not call reconstruction, because we already have a competitive team, but rather, being upturned.

    ‘I was interested in being part of this new wave, in search of titles, and to put Barça back where it has always been, among the best clubs. 

    ‘Then there was the conversation with the coach. We talked about football, mainly. I felt a real confidence from him, that he had a real knowledge of myself, my game and my qualities.’ 

    ‘I spoke with Tuchel and I also felt that he wanted me to come but I simply preferred Xavi’s speech.’

    Chelsea signed Kalidou Koulibaly for a fee of around £36m earlier in the window from Napoli.

    They then spent around £75m on signing Wesley Fofana from Leicester City, in a deal that’s only been topped by the £80m Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire in 2019 for a defender.

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