On Thursday evening, Barcelona announced an agreement in principle to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. Against all the odds, it appears Barcelona have come through on all of their major targets, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and now Kounde.
The French defender has been subject to heavy speculation in recent weeks, with Chelsea reportedly trying to strike a deal for his services. Yet roughly a week after reports flooded through that a deal between Sevilla and Chelsea was done, Kounde’s transfer to Barcelona was announced.
Reading between the lines, it very much looks as if Kounde elected to go to Barcelona rather than Chelsea. Speaking to Barcelona’s club media after arriving on the North-East coast, Kounde explained that major part of his decision was down to Xavi Hernandez.
“Xavi is one of the great reasons that I am here. I spoke various times with him and the way he spoke was captivating. We had some good conversations, we see football the same way. Now it is a question of coming into the team and winning as many minutes as possible.”
The attraction of the project at Barcelona under Xavi appears to have been a major pull for several of their signings. Despite only having been in the hot seat at Barcelona for nine months, he appears to be have a knack for getting through to footballers.
The first thoughts from @jkeey4 on his arrival in Barcelona pic.twitter.com/CQTb5ms6L5
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 28, 2022