Barcelona Stick €80m Price Tag On Jules Kounde Who Is ‘Open To Departure’
Barcelona reportedly have a price tag in mind if they are going to let young French central defender Jules Kounde out the door. The 24-year-old is reportedly open to leaving the Blaugrana this summer, but they will demand a sizable €80m fee for the Frenchman.
News broke on Tuesday that Kounde had not asked for a transfer, but was open to leaving Barcelona as a result of his position at the club. Kounde was promised that he would play in the middle of defence, but with Xavi Hernandez short of alternatives, Kounde has been forced to right-back for much of this season.
Fearing that he will have the same fate next season, Kounde is taking matters into his own hands. Currently, Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araujo are simply playing better than him, but Kounde has not been given a chance to compete in the middle this season, nor to have continuity there.
Toni Juanmarti says that Kounde still has interest from England, the Premier League likely being the only one able to afford that €80m feel. Several teams were interested last summer, including Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel. Despite the German manager now being on the hunt for a central defender this summer too, he sees Kounde as more of a right-back.
Given Kounde arrived for €50m last summer, Barcelona are in such a bind with their salary limit, and currently he is not part of their starting pairing, there may be a temptation to accept a big offer. However there would be the opportunity cost of losing Kounde too. Both Christensen and Araujo are somewhat more injury prone, and ahead of this season, many felt Kounde’s ceiling was much higher.