Chelsea may be set to miss out on a long-term transfer target this summer as French international center-back Jules Koundé is reportedly hopeful of a move to Spanish giants Barcelona.
Reports in Spanish outlet Sport have stated that Koundé is set to resist interest from both Chelsea and Newcastle United this summer, as he has his heart set on a move to Barça. This comes despite the Magpies being fully prepared to pay whatever it takes to capture the Frenchman, while the Blues – despite their interest – have turned to other squad priorities for the time being.
🚨 Jules Koundé has informed Barcelona that he will wait for them. Barça are very confident that they will sign the defender.
Sevilla have recognised that Chelsea’s interest in Koundé has cooled as Thomas Tuchel has his eyes set on Matthijs de Ligt.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) June 25, 2022
With Chelsea in the midst of trying to secure defensive replacements after losing both Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen to free transfers away from Stamford Bridge, the Blues have been hopeful of securing Koundé since last summer, but a desire to remain in Spain now seems preferable, albeit with Barcelona potentially set to struggle in their own right to get any deal over the line depending on other factors in the market.
There is still a chance that Barcelona could re-sign French winger Ousmane Dembélé, and if he does bite down and sign a contract extension at the Camp Nou, it is likely that Barça will entirely avoid a move for Leeds United star Raphinha and could then mobilize those funds for a move for Koundé.
Should Dembélé walk, however, then the club would continue to prioritize the signing of an attacking player, throwing any interest in Koundé out the window.
If a move to Barcelona is out of the question, Chelsea would surely jump in the lead ahead of Newcastle, as both Premier League clubs would have a clearer path to a potential deal.
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