Barcelona have reportedly joined the race for in-demand Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde.
The France international was expected to complete a switch to Chelsea in the summer window, but the Blues failed to meet Sevilla’s asking price and he remained at Los Palanganas.
The 23-year-old is expected to be in high demand once again this summer, though, with Chelsea likely to reignite their interest as a number of their current centre-backs prepare to become free agents.
According to Sport, Barca boss Xavi is extremely keen for the Blaugrana to pip Chelsea to Kounde’s signature this summer, but Barca’s financial turmoil will likely scupper a move.
The report adds that Sevilla will not consider negotiating with interested clubs over a fee and will only wave goodbye to Kounde if his €80m (£67.6m) release clause is triggered.
Liverpool and Manchester City have also been linked with moves for Kounde, who has one goal and one assist to his name from 25 matches in all tournaments this season.
The former Bordeaux man is not due to become a free agent until the end of the 2023-24 season.