Barcelona have officially announced the signing of Jules Kounde from Sevilla on a five-year deal.
This deal is subject to the player passing the medical and the signing of contracts.
AS per sources, the deal is worth about €50 million
Kounde was reportedly very close to joining Chelsea for a fee upwards of €65 million but Barcelona pulled off a last minute heist.
The 23-year-old centre-back is Barcelona’s sixth signing for the summer.
Earlier, they signed Pablo Torre (€5 million), Andreas Christensen (free), Franck Kessie (free), Raphinha (€58 million), and Robert Lewandowski (€45 million).
This deal happened due to Xavi who is a big Kounde fan.
Apparently, Xavi spoke to Kounde and told him that his partnership with Ronald Araujo will form Barcelona’s defensive spine.
“My conversation with Xavi was one of the main reasons for choosing Barcelona.
“I think we see football in the same way,” Kounde said.
Who is Jules Kounde?
Jules Kounde was born in Paris on November 12, 1998.
His family originally came from Benin.
He started playing for small clubs in the outskirts of Bordeaux in south-eastern France.
At the age of 14, Kounde joined the famed academy of FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
On January 7, 2018, the French defender made his first team debut in a French Cup game against Granville, at the age of 19.
The team lost but Kounde ended up playing 18 of the 19 remaining games in the French league.
He put in a series of consistent performances that made Sevilla take notice.
Ultimately, Sevilla coughed up 25 million Euros for Kounde, their most expensive signing at that time.
Kounde became a regular starter in Julen Lopetegui’s team that went on to win the Europa League at the end of the season, beating Inter.
This led to him being called up to the France squad for the Euros last summer.
Kounde was also part of the squad that lifted the UEFA Nations League beating Spain in the final.
He is a new-age defender who is vey quick, with great interception skills and also good on the ball.
A centre-back, Kounde can also play as a full back.
He is almost impossible to beat one-on-one.
Though he is just 178 cm tall, Kounde is outstanding in the air.
He has an impressive leap and can easily compete for balls in the air.
Having already roped in Andreas Christensen on a free transfer earlier in the summer, Xavi will be delighted to have Jules Kounde at his disposal.
The two can compete with Eric Garcia and Ronald Araujo for a place in the first team next season.
Kounde’s snake emoji
Prior to the official deal, the Barcelona Twitter handle hinted at the announcement by posting an emoji of a snake.
This was a reference to Kounde’s “Mamba celebration”.
When asked about the celebration, Kounde added: “My snake celebration is a tribute to Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant.”
Welcome to Barcelona, Jules Kounde and wish you all the best!