Chelsea lose out to Barcelona again as Jules Kounde agrees £42m move from Sevilla


Yannick Ferreira Carrasco of Atletico Madrid battles for possession with Jules Kounde of Sevilla during the LaLiga Santander match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla FC at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on May 15, 2022 in Madrid, Spain.

Chelsea have lost out to Barcelona in the race for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who has agreed to join the Catalan club in a deal worth around £42 million.

Chelsea last week thought they had won the battle for the France international but Barcelona have moved decisively in the past few days to secure the defender’s signature.

Kounde’s move to Barcelona, which is still dependent on the 23-year-old passing a medical, marks the second time in this transfer window that Chelsea have been pipped to a player by the Spanish club.

Chelsea also wanted to sign Raphinha from Leeds United, and had agreed a deal for the Brazilian winger before Barcelona swooped earlier this summer.

The loss of Koundé to Barcelona will force Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel to consider other targets, such as Paris St-Germain defender Presnel Kimpebe. They have also been linked with a move for Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana, having failed in their pursuits of Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Aké. 

As reported by Telegraph Sport last week, Chelsea thought they had beaten off competition from Barcelona for Koundé after agreeing to pay in the region of £55m for the defender.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta had even appeared to concede defeat in the race, after he was filmed telling a supporter that Koundé was going to sign for Chelsea.

That all changed in the following days, however, when Barcelona succeeded with a renewed effort to sign the player despite their well-publicised financial difficulties.

The imminent signing of Koundé follows the acquisitions of Raphinha (in a deal worth up to £55m) and Robert Lewandowski, who signed for Barcelona from Bayern Munich for £43m.

Barcelona have also signed Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessié on free transfers from Chelsea and AC Milan respectively.

Tavares to join Marseille on loan

Arsenal defender Nuno Tavares is close to completing a loan move to French side Marseille after talks broke down with Atalanta.

Tavares was the backup left-back to Kieran Tierney last season but has fallen further down the pecking order following the acquisition of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City.

The final details of the loan are now being finalised and Arsenal will hope that Tavares follows in the footsteps of team-mate William Saliba, who thrived on loan at Marseille last season.

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